China is aiming to work with South Africa in a new sector, such as e-commerce, smart cities and clean energy, with Acting Consul General of the Chinese Consulate Tang Chang’an calling for strengthened cooperation between the two countries.
Tang was speaking at a forum about how South Africa would benefit from a modern socialist China, in Cape Town.
Last month, in his speech at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, General Secretary Xi Jinping, mapped out the five-year vision for the world’s second largest economy.
The Acting Consul General said on Friday that last month’s congress drew a blueprint for China’s development plans, creating “new opportunities” to strengthen China-South Africa relations against the backdrop of global instability and uncertainty.
“In 2021, two-way commodity trade exceeded US$ 54 billion. China is ready to strengthen practical cooperation with South Africa under BRICS and the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (Focac) and focus on cooperation in new sectors such as 5G, digital economy, high-tech, e-commerce, smart cities and clean energy,” he said.
“We are ready to work to see more projects under Focac’s nine programmes. China and South Africa are both important developing countries. We have the same or similar views on the international order and global governance.”
Among other similarities, both countries have taken a neutral stance on the Russia-Ukrainian war.
Tang said China would continue to strengthen cooperation with South Africa and “safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and our common interests.”
He added that China were fully supportive of South Africa’s BRICS chairmanship next year. ”We will work to strengthen BRICS mechanisms and cooperation in various fields for more concrete results.”
Director of Consular Affairs and Overseas Chinese Services Wang Qingquan agreed, adding that common prosperity was a long-term process.
“China will not achieve its modernization through war, colonialism or plundering other countries or other means.”
“China’s path is peaceful development, and we will continue to follow this path. There is no universal model of modernization in the world.”
Wang said that since China were firmly opposed to other countries imposing their models on it, it encouraged other countries to explore their modernization.
“Chinese path to modernization is an opportunity for South Africa and the world. China is willing to support South Africa in exploring its modernization path that suits its national conditions, deepen cooperation in trade, investment, energy and other fields, support Chinese enterprises to invest and start businesses in South Africa, and expand the import of high-quality products from South Africa.”