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S. African officials send New Year wishes

By NDUMISO MLILO in Johannesburg | China Daily | Updated: 2023-01-31 07:11
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Senior officials from South Africa have conveyed their best wishes to the Chinese community in celebration of the Chinese New Year, wishing for closer Sino-South African friendship and cooperation that will bring common prosperity to the peoples of the two countries.

"It (New Year) is pivoted on longevity, prosperity, interest and common good for the Chinese people," said Alvin Botes, deputy minister of international relations and cooperation of South Africa. "We value our relationship which is premised on our mutual respect and cooperation with our historical friends.

"This is an occasion for deep reflection on South Africa's future relations with China with regard to the program of bringing common prosperity into all Chinese people and ours."

Botes said South Africa will continue to learn valuable lessons from China such as lifting people out of absolute poverty and good governance. He said it is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China, which were established on Jan 1, 1998.

Lindiwe Zulu, chairperson for the African National Congress Subcommittee on International Relations, said the Communist Party of China has invested so much in building relations with many parties around the world.

She said the congress is learning lessons from the CPC about governance, lifting people out of absolute poverty and improving people's livelihoods. This year, she expects ANC's friendship with the CPC and relations between the two countries to grow.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also sent his best wishes to the Chinese government and Chinese people all over the world for the Year of the Rabbit.

"My dear brothers and sisters from China and all Chinese communities around the world, I wish you all a happy Lunar New Year and a prosperous Spring Festival 2023," Ramaphosa said. "On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, I wish the government and the people of China, including here in South Africa, a happy and fulfilling time of goodwill, celebration and friendship, as you renew the bonds between friends or reunite with family during this period."

Continued cooperation

Chen Xiaodong, China's ambassador to South Africa, said economic cooperation between the two countries continues to grow, with trade volume last year reaching $57 billion, making China the biggest trading partner of South Africa.

Chen said the rabbit symbolizes kindness, beauty and peace in Chinese culture, and wished for the continual deepening of Sino-South African friendship this year.

"Let us all join hands and move forward together to write a new and glorious chapter of the China-South Africa community with a shared future," he said. "May China-South Africa and China-Africa cooperation flourish and achieve new glories. Long as the journey is, we will reach our destination if we stay the course. Difficult as the task is, we will get it done if we keep working."

"People-to-people exchanges are important for a common future, which we should build collectively together as nations and as peoples of South Africa and China," said Mzwandile Thakhudi, national secretary of the Young Communist League of South Africa.

The writer is a freelance journalist for China Daily.

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