Tuesday, May 22, 2007

South Africa-China Trade Under Spotlight

CAPE TOWN 21 May 2007 Sapa


Trade relations between South Africa and the People's Republic
of China were the subject of discussions in Beijing on Monday
between Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi.

"The ministers discussed the strengthening of political and
economic relations... and committed themselves to making greater efforts towards addressing the trade and investment imbalance between both countries," South Africa's department of foreign affairs said in a statement.

Dlamini-Zuma arrived in China last week for bilateral economic
and political discussions.

Trade between the two countries has grown rapidly in recent
years, expanding from R5.3 billion in 1998 - the year in which
South Africa and China established formal diplomatic relations -to almost R61 billion last year. The trade balance is firmly in China's favour.

The department said Dlamini-Zuma had also briefed Yang on "the
political and socio-economic situation" in the southern African region.

"Minister Yang expressed his support of South Africa's role in
the region in securing and maintaining peace, security and

The two ministers had also looked at current issues being dealt with by the United Nations Security Council.

"Both ministers emphasised the principle of solutions through
negotiations between all relevant role-players and recommitted
themselves to working together closely in the Security Council."

Yang had "expressed the appreciation of the People's Republic of China for South Africa's continued adherence to the One-China policy".

Dlamini-Zuma had also paid a courtesy visit to Chinese Premier
Wen Jiaboa.

The foreign minister will depart the Chinese capital for Vietnam on Tuesday, where she will join President Thabo Mbeki on his state visit to that country.

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