As Chinese President Xi Jinping started on Monday his third state visit to South Africa, the local people and overseas Chinese there expressed great hope that the visit will further boost bilateral friendly relations and cooperation.
Media in the country has reported extensively on the much-anticipated visit, which reflects the importance of both the Chinese top leader and the bilateral ties, according to local banker Dave Duley.
“I didn’t see him personally but obviously it was pretty much covered in the media. The importance of a man such as himself obviously is honored by all parts of the media in South Africa. And the continuation of our relationships, country-wise, we trust will continue in the spirit that we committed to each other all those years ago,” he said.
This is the third time that I witness the state visit by President Xi to South Africa. I hope the state visit will promote cooperation among the BRICS countries and inject fresh momentum and confidence into China-South Africa cooperation
Xi is also scheduled to attend the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg on July 25-27. It will be the sixth consecutive time for the Chinese president to attend such meetings. Given the remarkable results from the previous summits, the local people are full of hope about this year’s session.
“I think it’s very good for South Africa. I do believe the BRICS Summit allows all the developing nations to get together and foster relations. And having the Chinese president here will only enhance that,” said local resident Poendree Govender.
“Since we are part of the BRICS, I think it is a good thing that he is here so that we can establish new opportunities, for youth and education as a whole perspective,” noted Itumeleng, a teaching fellow at the University of Johannesburg.
Chinese enterprises in South African and ethnic Chinese residing in South Africans are also excited with the prospect of enhanced bilateral cooperation brought by President Xi’s visit, the 10th BRICS Summit, especially as the year 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of China-South Africa diplomatic relations.
“All the Chinese enterprises (in South Africa) look forward to the visit of President Xi. Because the BRICS Summit is a very important event and this year marks the 20th anniversary of China-South Africa diplomatic ties. The summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in 2015 in South Africa produced great results and over the past three years all the results have been gradually implemented and strengthened. So we believe that the visit by President Xi will further promote China-South Africa cooperation,” said Zhang Jinguo, president of Association of Chinese Enterprises in South Africa.
“This is the third time that I witness the state visit by President Xi to South Africa. I hope the state visit will promote cooperation among the BRICS countries and inject fresh momentum and confidence into China-South Africa cooperation,” said Li Tianshu, an ethnic Chinese residing in South Africa.