Relationship between China and South Africa

According to the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Mr. Zhong Jianhua, the visit made to China by South African President, Jacob Zuma, at the end of August, only strengthened the bond between the two countries, which have enjoyed a friendship for many years and now look towards an even brighter future. He went on to say that the bond between the two countries is advantageous in many respects, including technology, human resources, finance and various markets. The potential of the relationship between China and South Africa is predicted to strengthen as well as boost economy and trade.

As the news broke that China has taken the second place away from Japan as one of the biggest economies in the world, it was also made public that they have become the main trading partner to South Africa, over the United States of America. The raw materials industry, including chrome, iron, diamonds, manganese and copper, is vital for both countries, as South Africa is the supplier to China, and in return products such as tools, clothing and other electronic products are shipped back.

As Africa’s most powerful economy, South Africa is hoping to rectify the trade to China which is mostly beneficial to them, as China’s deficit is averaged at approximately $2.7 billion. It is felt by many, such as Martyn Davies, who is the head of the research company Frontier Advisory, that if South Africa had to become more aggressive with their pro-business policies, more foreign investors would show interest. He commented: “We overemphasize the politics. South Africa is trying to leverage its relations with China by saying, ‘someone has to represent the voice of Africa.’ It wants to elevate itself into the new arena of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China Economic Grouping), because it is the largest economy in Africa. But we could have done more to project South Africa’s presence.”

Ambassador Zhong Jianhua added that the signing of the Beijing Declaration confirmed President Zuma’s dedication to create long term economic and social development between China and South Africa based on the solid joint relationship of these two countries. It is hoped by both sides that trade and support will continue to grow and develop between South Africa and China.