Johannesburg, 22 August 2023: President of the Republic of China, Xi Jinping arrived in South Africa on a three-day state visit, which also includes a summit with leaders of the BRICS emerging economies.

Xi Jinping received a warm reception featuring a cultural song and dance presentation, along with a military parade by the South African National Defence Force.

President of South Africa received Xi Jinping himself upon reaching OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at midnight on August 21.

The Chinese President’s visit is of immense importance because South Africa and China have completed 25 years of diplomatic relations with each other.

25 years of China-South Africa ties

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa released a statement on the completion of South Africa-China bilateral diplomatic relations to the people of the Republic of South Africa before the visit of Xi Jinping.

“This year marks 25 years of diplomatic ties between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China. Our bilateral relationship with our largest trading partner is almost as old as our democracy,” he added in his statement.

Apart from various bilateral structures, South Africa and China also cooperate within global strategic frameworks like FOCAC, BRICS, G20, G77 plus China, and more.

The President further highlighted that the two nations’ ties are supported by a 10-Year Strategic Cooperation Program (2020-2029).

The energy partnership between China and South Africa gained momentum as companies from both nations convened in June a conference to explore joint endeavours in the green economy, fair energy transition, and technology transfer, with around 200 Chinese firms already active in this sector in South Africa.

China and South Africa, as development partners, have consistently recognized that trade and investment play a pivotal role in enhancing the quality of life for their respective populations.

Trade between China and South Africa has surged remarkably, from under R1 billion in 1998 to surpassing R614 billion in 2022.

Cooperation extends to boosting tourism, where China emerges as a pivotal source post-COVID-19. Notably, June 2023 saw Chinese visitors increase fourfold compared to the previous year.

South Africa will take the G20 presidency in 2025, with China endorsing its leadership.

South Africa’s partnership with China in global matters and on multilateral stages is grounded in its dedication to enhancing global governance structures to ensure inclusivity and amplify the voices of developing economies.