Johannesburg — The re-election of South African President Jacob Zuma as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) leader is a chance to further ties with China, an expert told Xinhua on Tuesday.
The comments came soon after the ANC announced that President Zuma won a landslide victory to retain the top post in the party.
"President Zuma remains popular in the domestic arena despite views of those who want to concentrate on issues around his personal life," said Gideon Chitanga, a researcher at the University of Johannesburg.
The expert said,"In terms of managing the South African economy and running a fairly stable country, I think his record is not bad. "
On the relations between South Africa and China in the aftermath of the election, Chitanga said, "Zuma's re-election gives South Africa a chance to strengthen relations with China , making sure it economically gains from the relationship."
"The South African government has had good relations with the Chinese government and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa ) family of countries. South Africa remains very open and interested in engaging with the fast developing countries," said the expert.
The researcher pointed out that "China has become a very big alternative economic player when compared to the West. China's active interaction with other growing economies creates more room for collaboration between China and South Africa."
"South African President Zuma's administration realizes that it has a lot to benefit from its mutual relations with China," Chitanga said.
He cited recent moves by Chinese investors to explore mining opportunities in South Africa as a sign of strong bilateral relations under the Zuma administration.
"If Zuma and his government could stick to such policies, his presidency will create great opportunities to make a difference and leave back a legacy," said Chitanga.
There is no doubt that Zuma will continue being the country's president after the national elections in 2014, as the ANC still enjoys the majority support in South Africa, according to the expert.
On Sunday, the ANC opened the 53rd National Congress to elect its leadership. The congress is scheduled to conclude on Thursday.