SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

South Africa: Country, China to Host Strategic Dialogue Meeting

Pretoria — South Africa and China will next week participate in a Strategic Dialogue Mechanism, which is an instrument to consolidate and strengthen relations as well as monitor the implementation of bilateral agreements.

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim Ebrahim, and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Zhai Jun, will co-chair the 5th South Africa-China Strategic Dialogue Mechanism in Pretoria on Monday.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa and China enjoy cordial relations which are now at the strategic partnership level. "In this regard, frequent high visits take place, various agreements have been signed and the volume of trade has increased," it said.

Among the issues to be discussed during the meeting are South Africa's bilateral relations with China; strengthening cooperation on the African continent, reform of the global system of governance, and international and regional issues of common interest.

Ebrahim will be accompanied by senior officials from various government departments, as well as representatives from the Development Bank of Southern African (DBSA).

In 2011, South Africa's total bilateral trade with China amounted to some R188 billion. South Africa had a deficit of some R18 billion. Between January and June this year, the trade amounted to R97 billion, with a South African deficit of about R11 billion. Both countries are working hard to achieve an equitable trade balance.

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