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Personalities

Chinese consul-general in Johannesburg heads a celebrations to mark 25 years of relations between South Africa and the PRC

He reviewed the journey from 1998 to the present day, when relations have reached an unprecedented level

Chinese consul-general in Johannesburg, Tang Zhongdong led the celebrations to mark 25 years of bilateral diplomatic relations between South Africa and China. He reviewed the journey from 1998 to the present day, when relations have reached an unprecedented level, as reported by Pretoria News, a partner of TV BRICS.

At the prestigious event, which was attended by several South African government officials, fellow diplomats and local and international media, Tang said the trade volume was US$56 billion (more than R1 trillion), up significantly from US$1 billion in 1998.

"In 2022, trade between China and South Africa has grown to $56.7 billion, 40 times more than the $1.56 billion in 1998. China has been South Africa's largest trading partner since 2009 and South Africa has been China's largest trading partner in Africa since 2010 with a huge surplus," told Tang to his guests.

Looking back, Tang said that over the past 25 years, the relationship between China and South Africa has made a significant jump from a ordinary partnership to a strategic partnership, and then to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

He stressed that Chinese presidents have made five state visits to South Africa and South African presidents have made six state visits to China.

"In recent years, under the joint leadership of President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa, the political mutual trust between the two countries has continued to deepen and cooperation in various fields has become increasingly close, bringing tangible benefits to the peoples of both countries," said the Chinese diplomat.

This year, Tang said, the bilateral relations between South Africa and China have reached new heights.

"As part of the celebration of 25 years of bilateral relations, the foreign ministers of the two countries exchanged congratulatory letters at the beginning of the year to reaffirm the well-established relationship. The two governments have planned a series of events to be held in both countries throughout the year to mark the milestone," said Tang.

South Africa will host the 15th BRICS summit later this year, bringing together top government leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

"The world will once again heed the BRICS proposal. In the face of a complex international situation and global challenges, South Africa has adopted ‘BRICS and Africa: A Partnership for Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism' as the theme of this BRICS Summit, reflecting the shared desire of BRICS and Africa to promote peaceful development in the world"

Tang Zhongdong Chinese consul-general in Johannesburg


He said more and more countries such as Iran, Indonesia and Argentina want to join the BRICS mechanism because they believe "BRICS is a positive choice when facing tough challenges".

Tang said the BRICS summit would certainly write a new chapter in BRICS cooperation.

As part of the celebrations, the Chinese consulate general in Johannesburg organised an exhibition with more than 30 photographs showcasing "the great feats achieved over the past decade in China".

Photo: Pretoria News


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