Nation Building In South Africa – Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded his state visit to South Africa and his participation in the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a strong call for the BRICS countries and the Global South to unite to build a fairer global order. It is hoped that this call will have a wide impact and will be widely supported by the international community.
At the summit, President Xi emphasized the importance of cooperation and solidarity among emerging economies, signaling a shift in global power dynamics and a renewed commitment to the international system to build a fairer state.
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“We will independently choose our development paths, defend our right to development together and march together with modernization,” Xi said in a speech at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg. It shows the direction of human society’s progress and will have a great impact on the world’s development process, he said.
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The 15th BRICS summit is the first in-person summit since the pandemic and the third in Africa. In the months leading up to its opening, the summit attracted a lot of attention.
Some experts reached by the Johannesburg Global Times said Xi’s visit to South Africa not only deepens China-Africa relations, but also brings new strength and vitality to world peace and development. certain countries. continue to follow unilaterally.
This year’s summit announced the historic expansion to include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose membership will take effect from 2024. January 1
Argentina’s ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, said in an exclusive interview with the Global Times that he especially wants to thank China and other BRICS member states for their support.
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“Strengthening BRICS is essential for the development of the countries of the South.” Expanding this mechanism is the key to a more harmonious world order where cooperation replaces conflict,” Narvaja told the Global Times.
After expansion, the BRICS countries’ land area share in the world will increase from 26 percent to 32 percent, total population will increase from 42 percent to 47 percent, total economic figure will increase from 26 percent to 29 percent, and total trade will increase from 26 percent to 32 percent. in goods from 18 to 21 percent.
In 2023 August 22 the national flags of China and South Africa fly outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa. Photo: Weng Qiyu
President Xi arrived in Johannesburg on August 21. at night to attend the 15th BRICS summit and state visit to South Africa.
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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, along with South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor and Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Women, Youth and Disability Leadership, warmly welcomed Xi at OR Tambo International Airport. in Johannesburg. .
On the morning of August 22nd, the air at Union Buildings Square in the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria, was filled with waving national flags representing China and South Africa. President Xi arrived at the Union Buildings in a presidential motorcade and was warmly welcomed by President Ramaphosa. When the two heads of state entered the tribune, they were met by an honor guard with rifles. A military band also played the national anthems of China and South Africa, and a 21-gun salute was fired.
President Ramaphosa noted that it was a great pleasure to host President Xi on his fourth state visit to South Africa. China has provided valuable support to South Africa in its struggle for national independence and liberation and for national development. China has provided much needed support to South Africa during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
China is a true friend, brother and partner of South Africa. Both South Africa and China are committed to national development and prosperity, and their positions on many key international issues are the same or similar, Ramaphosa said.
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This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa.
During Xi’s visit, the two heads of state jointly signed 11 cooperation documents on the Belt and Road Initiative, new energy, agricultural production, special economic zone, industrial park, blue economy, science and technology innovation and above. education
The Global Times has learned that the programs are badly needed in South Africa, especially in the area of new energy, as South Africa is severely short of electricity.
In Johannesburg, Global Times reporters noticed that Chinese brands such as Huawei and Gree have become very common. Local residents have a strong preference for Chinese appliances, smartphones and cars.
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Economic relations between South Africa and China are booming, and China is currently South Africa’s largest trading partner globally. Similarly, South Africa occupies a prestigious position as China’s main trading partner in Africa. The latest data from China’s Ministry of Commerce shows that bilateral trade between the two countries will increase by will reach a staggering 56.74 billion. This positive growth trend continued to gain momentum in the first half of this year, with an additional increase of 11.7 percent.
Professor Paul Tembe, a lecturer at the University of South Africa, told the Global Times that every time President Xi visits South Africa, he gives not only material but also important non-material, symbolic gifts that extend China-Africa relations.
Tembe noted that the values promoted by China are not widespread among African people like what China has done for selfish interests but for the survival of humanity.
“For example, the Global Civilization Initiative emphasizes that every country in the world has its own unique civilization that can contribute to the development and survival of humanity,” he said.
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David Monyae, director of the Africa-China Studies Center at the University of Johannesburg, told the Global Times that Africa has benefited greatly from China’s programs and investments under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“We see China playing an important role because it has adopted a new approach to deal with Africa differently from the West… China prioritizes the welfare needs of developing countries,” Monyae said.
When the Global Times interviewed local residents, they also expressed a desire to improve ties with China and look at cooperation with China in various fields, especially in energy, technology and agriculture.
The theme of this year’s BRICS conference is BRICS and Africa: A Partnership for Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism. This is very important for the cooperation of the BRICS countries with the African Union Agenda 2063 and the adoption process of the Agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area.
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Guth Wits Radio South Africa journalist Thabo Trevor Mohlotsane told the Global Times that he believes the economies of Africa and BRICS countries will grow in the future.
The BRICS countries have maintained fairness and justice in international affairs, stood up for what is right on important international and regional issues, and the voice and influence of emerging markets and developing countries are increasing, Xi said, speaking at the summit.
“The BRICS countries do not give up principles, do not give in to external pressure and do not become vassals of others,” he said, adding that they have broad consensus and common goals.
He noted that the development of BRICS is historic. The development reflects the commitment of the BRICS countries to cooperate in unity with all developing countries.
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When he announced the development at the summit, President Ramaphosa said the BRICS had begun a new chapter in their efforts to create a fair, inclusive and prosperous world.
“We are in agreement on the first phase of this expansion process and other phases will follow,” he said.
In 2022 BRICS started the expansion process under China’s chairmanship. Since then, China has been working with other BRICS members to gradually speed up the development process.
“Many emerging markets and developing countries have given positive consideration to BRICS and more than 20 countries have submitted their proposals, which speaks to the attractiveness and influence of BRICS and the enthusiasm and aspirations of emerging markets and developing countries for cooperation,” said the special envoy. Li Kexin, director-general of the BRICS Affairs and International Economic Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said news of the meeting in 2023. August 24
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Analysts noted that this development reinforces the intention of the BRICS countries to cooperate with other developing economies, which will promote the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries.
The expansion is also seen as a new starting point for BRICS cooperation, which will contribute to the movement for global peace and development.
Experts noted that the development of BRICS will significantly increase the group’s status in global governance. As the G7, led by the US, tries to “resurrect” itself, it is important that global governance includes more voices from emerging markets, which have long been ignored.
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