Johannesburg — South African President Jacob Zuma on Friday spoke highly of the contribution by the Chinese community to the country's economic development as he officially launched the opening of a Chinatown gateway arch in Johannesburg.
"The Chinese community adds to the rich diversity of our nation, and contributes to the tapestry that makes South Africa unique and colorful in many respects," said the president at the launch ceremony.
"We meet here with great joy, to open this arch which is a symbol of the presence, diligence and importance of our Chinese community to the building of this country."
The construction of the arch, the biggest of its kind in Africa, was started by the Chinese community at the end of 2011.
The arch, marked Chinatown in both Chinese and English, has a height of about 15 meters and a width of 26 meters.
Zuma said the arch is a reflection of the Chinese community's commitment to building South Africa, adding "the Chinese community will continue to work for the economic development of South Africa. "
The president also applauded his country's relations with China. "This special occasion has given us an opportunity to reflect on the relations between South Africa and China, which must count among the strongest bilateral linkages that South Africa has with any country."