Statement by Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, during the Opening Session of the 12th South Africa–China Strategic Dialogue, Beijing, China, 24 May 2023
Your Excellency, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr Deng Li,
Ambassador Siyabonga Cwele, Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China,
Ambassador Zodwa Lallie, Acting Deputy Director-General, Branch: Asia and Middle East,
Officials from both Governments, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Vice Minister DENG Li, let me express my appreciation for the invitation to co-chair with you the 12th South Africa-China Strategic Dialogue, here in Beijing. This is our first physical meeting following the strenuous years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my second visit to China. I recall fondly my first visit to Beijing in October 2019, where I had engaged the former Vice-Foreign Minister, His Excellency Mr Chen Xiaodong, in my capacity as co-chair of the 10th Strategic Dialogue. I am very happy that His Excellency is now the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa and we continue to collaborate well in advancing our relations.
2023 is a significant year in our bilateral relationship as both our countries celebrate 25 years milestone of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations. This is a testimony of the historic bond of friendship shared at both party-to-party and at state levels. Our relations have grown over the years to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership underpinned by South Africa-China 10 Years Strategic Programme on Cooperation. Considering the past achievements, the fact that South Africa will be hosting the 15th BRICS Summit in August 2023, and as per tradition, HE President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended an invitation to President Xi Jinping for a State Visit to South Africa. We are looking forward to hosting these prominent events in our beautiful country.
Mr Vice Minister, as per the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Rabbit, which symbolises longevity, peace and prosperity which we believe will bring renewed energy in our strategic partnership with more positive, win-win tangible outcomes in various areas of cooperation, more importantly on trade and investment. The commitment of political leadership of both our countries, including engagements of our Government Departments, businesses continue to deepen and broaden our solid ties characterised by close friendship, strong solidarity, and common interests.
We trust that this 12th South Africa-China Strategic Dialogue will serve as preparatory for the high-level political exchanges planned this year and consolidate our partnership during uncertain times globally and enhance our unwavering joint commitment to cooperate at regional, and multilateral levels. The value of our partnership with China undoubtedly lies in the strong alignment of China’s bilateral initiatives and development proposals to support South Africa’s national growth and development imperatives.
Dear Vice Minister, I wish to thank you for your kind hospitality and for making my delegation feel welcome. I am looking forward to fruitful deliberations through robust exchange of views in the true spirit of friendship and solidarity as espoused by our strong relations.
I thank you.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974
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