• August 19, 2023

Xi Focus: Outlook for Xi’s upcoming South Africa tour

Xi Focus: Outlook for Xi’s upcoming South Africa tour
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Xinhua
Updated: Aug 19, 2023
Electronic screens of the 15th BRICS Summit are seen at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 16, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — At the invitation of President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the 15th BRICS Summit to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa and pay a state visit to South Africa from Aug 21 to 24. While in South Africa, President Xi will co-chair with President Ramaphosa the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue.

Discussing ways to deepen BRICS cooperation

“The upcoming summit will be the first in-person BRICS summit in more than three years and the first BRICS summit to be held in Africa in five years,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Friday at a regular press conference.

“All sides will have in-depth exchange of views on prominent global challenges, enhance coordination and collaboration in international affairs, inject stability and positive energy into today’s world fraught with uncertainties, and contribute wisdom and strength to world peace and development,” said Wang.

He noted that they will discuss ways to further deepen and substantiate BRICS cooperation, including practical cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, finance, security, people-to-people and cultural exchange, and global governance, and provide guidance for the mechanism’s sustained steady growth.

Wang said since its establishment, BRICS has remained true to its founding purpose of seeking strength through solidarity, upheld the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and deepened practical cooperation in various fields. It has become an important force driving global governance reform and taken on increasing international influence.

The BRICS consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. South Africa becomes the BRICS chair in 2023, taking over from China.

Under the theme of “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism,” the summit will carry forward the sound momentum of cooperation from the BRICS “China Year” 2022 and chart a brighter future for BRICS.

“They will also seek to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between BRICS and Africa and other emerging markets and developing countries, and send a strong message of safeguarding multilateralism and focusing on common development,” Wang added.

“The summit is of great significance to promoting practical cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries in various fields, promoting global governance reform, and enhancing the representation and voice of developing countries,” said Li Wentao, a researcher with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, adding that against the backdrop of major global changes, the solidarity and cooperation among BRICS countries will bring more certainty to an uncertain world.

Tang Xiaoyang, dean of the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University, said that strengthening cooperation with BRICS countries will help developing countries and emerging markets seek new growth points and help them achieve more resilient development.

Drawing blueprint for growth of China-South Africa ties

This year marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa. Wang briefed that during the visit, President Xi will exchange views with South African President Ramaphosa on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest, and draw a blueprint for the growth of bilateral relations. The visit will provide strong impetus for building a high-level China-South Africa community with a shared future.

Noting that South Africa is China’s comprehensive strategic partner and the first African country that has joined Belt and Road cooperation, Wang said that in recent years in particular, under the joint care and planning of President Xi and President Ramaphosa, China-South Africa relations have maintained high-level development, with political mutual trust, practical cooperation, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and strategic coordination continuing to deepen.

“No matter how the international landscape may change, China will not change its commitment to deepening friendship and enhancing solidarity and cooperation with South Africa,” said Wang.

“We would like to work with South Africa to continue to support each other on issues that bear on each other’s core interests and major concerns, jointly pursue development and revitalization, and make positive contribution to a multipolar world and greater democracy in international relations,” said the spokesperson.

Carrying forward spirit of China-Africa friendship

While in South Africa, President Xi will co-chair with President Ramaphosa the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue. The African Co-Chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chairperson of the African Union and representatives of the regional economic communities have been invited to the event.

“Solidarity and cooperation with African countries are the cornerstones of China’s foreign policy and our longstanding, rock-firm strategic choice,” Wang said.

He said that during the dialogue, under the theme of “Promoting African integration and jointly building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future,” the two sides will have in-depth exchanges on working together to advance their modernization and foster a peaceful, just and open environment for development.

Wang said that by carrying forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation and aiming for tangible cooperation outcomes, China and Africa will create an even better future for the Chinese and African people and set an exemplary model for advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Su Xiaohui, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, told Xinhua that over the years, China and Africa have been working together and cooperating closely, setting a model of friendly cooperation and common development for developing countries.

“African countries are actively promoting modernization and independent development, and the Chinese modernization will provide valuable development opportunities for them and inject new impetus into China-Africa cooperation and the African independent development,” said Su.

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