By SA News
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe concluded his Chinese visit with a commitment to take cooperation between the two countries to a higher level.
The two governments agreed to facilitate investment by both public and private sectors from their respective countries in the areas of infrastructure development, mining, energy, transport and information and communications technology.
According to Motlanthe’s office, the two also agreed to explore trilateral co-operation on strategic economic infrastructure projects in the transport and energy sectors on the African continent.
On human resources development, China will increase investment on vocational training centres in South Africa and it would increase scholarship allocation for South African students to study in China.
On the strengthening of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, the two countries undertook to exchange more frequent visits and share views on issues concerning the UN, WTO, G20 and BRICS.
Motlanthe was in China in a bid to strengthen political and economic relations with that country. During his visit, he met several key leaders in China, including Chinese President Hu Jintao.
In their meeting on Friday morning, Hu called for both sides to strengthen strategic communication, deepen political mutual trust and bolster cooperation in order to advance bilateral ties.
Hu said the two sides should expand the scale of their cooperation by tapping into potentials in connection with the development plans and strategies of both nations.
They should also strengthen cooperation on key projects in order to achieve the goals specified in the Beijing Declaration.
The Beijing Declaration was signed and established during President Zuma’s visit to China in 2010.
According to the Beijing Declaration, China and South Africa will work together to improve the structure of bilateral trade by encouraging the trade of high value-added manufactured goods and increasing China’s investment in South Africa. The two sides will continue to deepen their cooperation in infrastructure development, including the construction of roads, railways, ports, power plants, airports and housing.
Motlanthe said the China-South Africa strategic partnership has seen smooth development under the guidance of the Beijing Declaration.
He said South Africa was ready to work with China to continue to implement the Beijing Declaration by having closer high-level contact, expanding practical cooperation, increasing bilateral trade and investment, promoting cultural and personal exchanges and stepping up consultation and cooperation on regional and international affairs.
He said South Africa was poised to boost the strategic partnership between the two countries to a new stage.
Bilateral relations have picked up since China and Africa established diplomatic links in 1998, with Hu visiting South Africa in 2007 and Zuma visiting China in 2010.
Motlanthe has paid three visits to China since 2001. His current visit marks the first time that he has visited that country since being elected vice president.
In addition to Beijing, Motlanthe also visited Shanghai with a group of South African businessmen. He also attended the China-South Africa Economy and Trade Forum in Beijing and met with Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping.
In his meeting with Premier Wen, Motlanthe said South Africa attached great importance to relations with China.
The country will strengthen bilateral high-level visits and people-to-people exchanges at all levels, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, expand cooperation in trade, investment, aviation and tourism, and strengthen coordination and cooperation on regional and international affairs, so as to promote the bilateral ties and Africa-China relations.
Wen said China welcomes South African exports to China, and will encourage Chinese companies and financial institutes to participate in South Africa’s infrastructure construction on transportation, energy and communication, and support the two sides to expand cooperation in new energy and renewable energy, manufacturing, green economy and agriculture.
During the visit, Motlanthe also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in the field of geology and mineral resources; and Financial Co-operation agreement between the Development Bank of South Africa and the Chinese Development Bank.