The Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation has called for a deeper relationship with China following a meeting with young diplomats from that country.
The Acting Committee Chairperson, Mr Bheki Radebe, said it was important that South Africa enhances its relationship with China in all facets of human development to combat poverty. “The number of exchange programmes in the education sector, infrastructure, engineering and the medical fields should be multiplied. The continent is rich and would like China to support it, and develop its output and human capital,” Mr Radebe said.
The Committee hosted a delegation of 22 young Chinese diplomats, following declarations at the December 2015 China-South Africa Summit in Johannesburg, when President Jing Xi Ping visited the country.
Mr Radebe said Parliament would like China to support Africa’s developmental objectives, as articulated in the Agenda 2063 programme. “But we also need cooperation in international forums and our countries should move in unison. These are areas where we need to work together. The war on imperialism is not over, and we need to ensure that on the economic front our countries collaborate more,” he said.
He said the Committee welcomed China’s commitment to invest heavily in Africa, especially in areas of infrastructure and technology. “With all these activities, China has proven itself a friend of South Africa and the continent. We have nothing to lose by deepening the relations between our countries,” he said.