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Ramaphosa, ministers embark on state visit to China

The Presidency says the state visit is to strengthen working relations between the two countries.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Friday travel to Beijing for a meeting with his Chinese counterpart.

Xi visited South Africa recently for the Brics summit in Johannesburg.

The Presidency says the state visit is to strengthen working relations between the two countries.

In a statement, the Presidency explains South Africa and China enjoy strong ties, cemented by the recent state visit in Pretoria.

“Bilateral relations between the People’s Republic of China and South Africa are conducted through the comprehensive strategic partnership and are anchored in a shared history of friendship and solidarity.

“The state visit on Sunday, 2 September 2018 will commence with Ramaphosa laying a wreath at the Monument of the People’s Heroes in Tiananmen Square, in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Chinese people’s wars for liberation, independence and freedom.”

President Ramaphosa is also expected to meet with Premier Li Keqiang at the Diaoyutai State Guest House before attending the welcome ceremony hosted by President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which will be co-chaired by President Ramaphosa, will take place from 3 to 4 September 2018 under the theme: ”China and Africa: Towards an even stronger community with a shared future through win-win cooperation”.

FOCAC, established in 2000, is a multilateral platform for exchange and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and African countries that have formal diplomatic relationships with the PRC.

The forum covers various aspects of politics, trade and culture and primarily aims to align and strengthen socio-economic and developmental cooperation.

“South Africa, as outgoing co-chair, will concentrate its efforts on ensuring a greater role for the African Union Commission in FOCAC, as well as on maintaining close relations with the regional economic communities and the AU’s flagship programme for socio-economic development, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).”

During FOCAC, Ramaphosa will address the opening ceremony of the high-level dialogue between the Chinese and African leaders with business representatives as well as the 6th Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs.

He will also address the opening ceremony, the welcome banquet of the Summit and the first roundtable session.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by ministers Lindiwe Sisulu, Naledi Pandor, Rob Davies, Pravin Gordhan, Edna Molewa, Gugile Nkwinti, Blade Nzimande, Derek Hanekom, Nhlanhla Nene and Senzeni Zokwana.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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