China celebrated its 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on the 22 September 2023 at their Embassy in Pretoria.
This year was significant as it coincided with the commemoration of 25 years of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa.

Mr Li Zhigang, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of China in South Africa welcomed guests warmly which included guest of honour Minster of tourism Patricia de Lille and Minster of Women, Youth and Persons with disabilities and and first deputy secretary-general of the ruling African National Congress Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as well as members of the Diplomatic Corp.

The close collabation between China and South Africa was acknowledged in the recent 15th annual BRICS summit where the President of China Mr Xi Jinping visited South Africa from the 21 to 24 August.
Relations with South Africa stem back to a visit made by the late Mr Walter Sisulu to Beijing in 1953.
In the past 74 years there has been a record number achievement in modernization that has been aligned with the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Mr Zhigang noted the China is dedicated to coordinationing information both domestic and international priorities , integrating development and security and striving towards it second centenary goal.

In the words of Mr. Li Zhigang

” Chinese improvements have proved to be a contribution to the improvement of the whole world ”

In 2022 Chinese total investments exceeded 7.7 trillion Rand with an increase on 10.1 %. In the first half of 2023 investments grew by 12.1 % year on year to add value to various industries.
This year marks the 10th anniversary since President Xi Jinping proposed the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith for China’s Africa policy. Over the past decade, China has stayed committed to this principle.

“We have taken part in the construction of over 6,000 kilometres of rail-roads, over 6,000 kilometres of highways and over 80 large-scale power facilities on the continent.” One of the notable being the road system in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mr Zhigang said China firmly supports the African Union’s accession to the G20, and congratulates the African Union on becoming a full member of the G20 at the recent New Delhi Summit.

Next year, China will host the 9th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting, and Mr Zhigang said it will be another opportunity to plan together, for the future development of China and Africa.

Being the second largest economy in the world, China has alot to be proud of when looking back at the challenges it has faced over time .

Over the past 25 years, since diplomatic relations began between China and South Africa , the relationship has had remarkable development with an increase in political trust, continuous expansion of pragmatic cooperation and closer international collaboration.
Minister of tourism Patricia De Lille congratulated China on their 74th anniversary on the founding of the People’s Republic of China on the year of the rabbit.
This year the endurance of a partnership has been demonstrated by convening various high level engagements which include the people to people exchange mechanism in Cape Town in February, a strategic dialog in Beiging in May , a joint economic frame commite in Pretoria and the Visit by the President of China.
These interactions reaffirm the strong friendship bonds between the two countries and further cement the ties.

Through the two countries shared socia economic aspirations, close political relations and solidarity the two sides have committed to further consolidate their relationship by ensuring the implementation of the 10 year strategic program of cooperation that began in 2022.
China is South Africa’s largest global trade partner and South Africa is China’s biggest trade partner on the African continent.

“a friend in need is friend indeed”

This is what China continues to be to South Africa.

by Marion Kate