China to invest close to $15 billion in South Africa

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China’s President Xi Jinping walks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa before their meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, July 24, 2018. (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)

Numerous agreements were signed between China and South Africa during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit. This includes nearly $15 billion in investment for the African country. The two countries also vowed to strengthen economic ties.

CGTN’s Yolisa Njamela reports.

It was all pomp and ceremony as the two presidents met at the Union Buildings. It’s the first time that the two had met since President Cyril Ramaphosa took office, and since President Xi Jinping’s reelection.

Once the formalities got out of the way, it was down to business. A number of agreements and memoranda were struck between the two countries. African sectors due to benefit from the investment include infrastructure, ocean economy, green economy, agriculture and finance.

Over the past 20 years, China and South African relations have developed into a comprehensive, strategic partnership. The two countries have witnessed increasing political mutual trust, practical cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and strategic coordination. They’ve now pledged to draw a new blueprint for further developing bilateral relations.

“We have full confidence in the bright prospects of our cooperation and friendship going forward. The president and I both believe that our two parties and countries are good friends, good partners, good brothers and good comrades,” Xi said.

“We must continue to view our bilateral relationship from a strategic height and to continue to push forward our collaboration with the long term perspective.”

China’s President Xi Jinping addresses a media conference with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria, South Africa, July 24, 2018. (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)

“The dynamism of the partnership between China and South Africa derived from a common desire to develop our bilateral relationship and infact our common view is that our relationship between the two countries in many ways has gone beyond just being a bilateral relationship,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

“It is a very strategic relationship which touches on a number of issues where we cooperate extremely well together for the mutual benefit of our two peoples.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa listens as his counterpart Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press conference with at the government’s Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

China is South Africa’s largest trading partner, while South Africa is China’s largest trading partner in Africa. Both presidents emphasized the need to ensure that citizens from both countries should directly benefit from the relations.

The two leaders have also pledged to build cultural centers in both countries. President Ramaphosa is expected to pay a state visit to China later this year. He will also attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit in Beijing later this year.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, right, shakes hand with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the government’s Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)


Ivor Ichikowitz discusses the significance of Xi’s trip to South Africa

CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke to Ivor Ichikowitz for more on President Xi’s state visit to South Africa. Ichikowitz is the founder and executive chairman of the Paramount Group, a global defense and security company.