Jackie Chan to visit SA to raise wildlife awareness?

2015-03-10 12:25

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Chinese movie stars like Jackie Chan, Chinese art and martial arts performances and Chinese bridge competitions are all among the plans to celebrate the Year of China in South Africa.

Speaking at the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria this morning, spokesperson Pan Peng said the embassy was considering inviting Chan to help raise environmental awareness among the youth.

The movie stars would “join young volunteers in the wildlife protection forum and visit the famous national parks to raise the public awareness of wildlife protection in China and South Africa”, she said.

When asked what China was doing to help Africa with wildlife preservation, Pan said the punishment for those caught smuggling ivory in China was lifelong imprisonment.

She said China recently burnt six tonnes of ivory to prove how resolute it was in fighting ivory trade and smuggling.

China will organise more than 200 activities in all nine provinces and the major cities to celebrate the Year of China in South Africa.

On Sunday China’s minister of culture, Luo Shugang, will attend the opening ceremony of the year’s events at Pretoria’s State Theatre.

Musicians and art groups from China and South Africa will feature in joint performances with more than 1300 diplomats.

Last year was the Year of South Africa in China and these exchanges were aimed at improving relations.

This year would also involve cooperation in the fields of science and there will be a think tank forum with universities from China and South Africa.

The ministerial forum on China-Africa cooperation will have its sixth meeting in South Africa this year and there will be a focus on strengthening trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Pan said there would be cooperation in developing the blue economy by building ports and coastal industrial parks, ship building, offshore oil and gas exploration and aquaculture.

China will also “train and cultivate talents that are needed in South African economic and social development”, Pan said.

“What is more, China is encouraging the Chinese companies in South Africa to accelerate localisation and strengthen technology transfer while creating more jobs for South African society.”

Pan could not say how many jobs would be created in South Africa following closer cooperation, but she said Chinese companies in South Africa employed South Africans at a rate of 85%.

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