Cape Town — South African President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday congratulated all members of the Chinese community in his country and around the world on the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse, pledging to promote relations with China.
"Together with all the people of South Africa, I am pleased to be able to wish all members of the Chinese Community in South Africa and around the world, a happy and successful New Year -- the Year of the Horse," Zuma said in a statement.
The horse is an auspicious symbol in China, heralding a year that looks forward to action, speed, achievement and the realizing of goals, Zuma said.
"Indeed, the Year of the Horse encourages and celebrates the setting of goals, of leadership and of the earnest desire to act resolutely to achieve those honorable goals," Zuma said.
The relations between South Africa and China have grown from strength to strength, and growing energy is its hall mark, Zuma said.
"Indeed, the symbol of the Horse, captures the energy of South African and Chinese relations," he said.
As the Chinese enter a new year, it is time also to contemplate the plans and aspirations for the year ahead, Zuma said.
"Indeed, like the symbolic horse, it's our duty to set goals for our relations in the year ahead," he said.
The Year of the Horse commences on Jan. 31.
Zuma urges and encourages the South African Chinese community to achieve the goal of job creation in the coming year -- "a noble and honorable goal, that would need the energy symbolized by the Horse, to achieve."
"We have been encouraged by efforts in the community to engage with the ANC (African National Congress) and its leadership in government; and we are deeply appreciative of the ongoing and loser working relationship between us," Zuma said.
"As South Africans we are appreciative of the role that your community is playing in everyday South African life. Your investments and the job creation through the entry of so many Chinese enterprises, contributes to a better life for all who live in our country."
Zuma voiced expectation that renewed energy encouraged by the year of the Horse will see a year ahead of speed, strength, endurance and ultimately achievement of the joined goals of the improvement of the lives and circumstances of the South African and Chinese peoples and indeed between South Africa and China as countries which already enjoy such warmth of relations.
"In that spirit, and as you spend the coming days sharing time with and nurturing relationships with family and friends, I would like to extend our warmest greetings and wishes to you all for a prosperous New Year that will see us at the winning post of renewed achievement between South Africa and China, and, in the words we cherish so deeply, 'together, we can do more'," Zuma said.