The following articles appeared in Business Day on October 1st, 2004.
Message from the Ambassador to SA of the Peoples' Republic of
China, Liu Guijin
"October 1, 2004 witnesses the 55th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
This ancient country, with a history of more than 5000 years and a population of more than 1.3 billion people, has made great progress in social and economic development over the past 55 years, particularly in the last two decades since the country opened its doors to the outside world.
The living standards of the average Chinese person have been greatly improved. An estimated number of 42.5 million people have been lifted from extreme poverty since 1990, and China is capable of feeding 22% of world's population through 10% of world's arable lands. The fast-growing economy and rich human resources of China offers tremendous opportunities to all countries.
In 2003, China became the largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the world with a total amount of 53 billion USD, and imported 412.84 billion USD worth of goods and service from various parts of the world. The peaceful development of China also bodes well for the interests of the developing world in terms of establishing a more just and equitable world order.
The year 2004 is of great significance to the South African people too. It is in this year that South African people joyfully celebrate their 10 years of freedom and democracy and held the third non-racial general election. In the past ten years, tremendous changes have taken place in South Africa.
The ANC government goes all out to remedy the traumas of apartheid, and actively addresses the challenges of unemployment and poverty. Being an important country in Africa and the developing world, South Africa spares no efforts in pushing forward African peace and development as well as the agenda of the developing world, which has won worldwide recognition.
This year also marks the 6th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa. Ever since the normalisation of bilateral relations between the two countries in 1998, China-South Africa relations have been developing in an all-round, rapid and healthy manner.
The two countries have established a strategic partnership as well as the China-South Africa Bi-National Commission to guide and coordinate bilateral cooperation in various areas. As at the first half of 2004, the bilateral trade volume stood at USD 2.75 billion and it is well estimated that the total bilateral trade volume will surpass 5 billion USD by the end of this year.
Two-way investment has also surpassed USD 500 million. China and South Africa are highly complementary in terms of economy and trade, and share identical or similar views on many major international issues such as multilateralism, peace and development and WTO trade talks, among others.
With the deepening of understanding between the two countries, I am deeply convinced that China-South Africa relations are bound to have an even brighter future."