SA-China ties strengthened: Zuma

2014-12-06 22:28
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Johannesburg - Ties between South Africa and China were strengthened during a diplomatic visit to the East Asian country this week, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

Zuma said in a statement that the two governments discussed issues affecting the African continent, particularly Ebola, infrastructure development and peace and security.

On peace and security in Africa and other regions, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China was prepared to assist the African Union in its peacekeeping mission. It was also ready to discharge resources to the continent's peacekeeping mechanisms particularly the African rapid response forces.

Zuma said: "The visit has significantly strengthened our relations with China, who are ready to work with South Africa to effectively implement all the plans and agreements that we have signed..." This included the Five- to 10-Year Framework on Co-operation, which aims to enhance the implementation of the outcomes of the recently-established Bi-National Commission and the Inter-ministerial Joint Working Group.

The Chinese President and his government declared that China was ready to invest and work with South Africa in sectors including infrastructure development, environment, science and technology, agriculture and finance.

Zuma said China agreed that Ebola was not an African problem but a global one, requiring a serious response from the global community.

The BRICS New Development Bank was also discussed in the official talks, with both parties agreeing that it should be established and made operational as soon as possible.

"South Africa is keen to ensure that the Bank's African Regional Centre provides further impetus to the strategic relationship that was forged between the BRICS and African leadership in 2013 in Durban, to enhance economic development for the continent.

"We will co-operate with China to ensure that the Shanghai Headquarters and the African Regional Centre in South Africa are established as per agreed timelines."

New Development Bank

The New Development Bank was coming to Africa at a time when Africa was promoting regional integration and cross-border trade and investment, Zuma said.

Customs and tax regulations would be relaxed to help promote industrialization and regional integration by speeding up and facilitating the movement of goods and services within the region.

At the Tsinghua University, where he was awarded an Honorary Professorship, Zuma said both countries should continue to promote the legacy, ideals, humanity and values of former president Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 December last year.

"It is with the memory of the vision of Nelson Mandela that we wish to also achieve the ideal of a better Africa and to contribute to building a better world," Zuma told students and academics.

Read more on:    brics  |  xi jinping  |  jacob zuma  |  china  |  sa  |  trade

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