CEMENTING SA-CHINESE RELATIONS: People’s Republic of China ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, addressing the High Level Dialogue in Pretoria. Picture: Supplied


SOUTH African leaders have lauded the Communist Party of China (CPC) following its recent 20th national congress, which re-elected President Xi Jinping as general secretary, with ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile, saying the CPC has over years occupied “a special pride of place as a progressive force for good, defender of global peace and development – as well as a proponent of the preservation of a fair, just and more humane world order”.

Addressing the High Level Dialogue at the Chinese embassy in Pretoria, under the theme “China Marches on New Journey and China-South Africa Cooperation Taken to New Heights”, Mashatile said the ANC welcomed the CPC’s “ongoing commitment to boost exchanges and cooperation with political parties and organisations from other countries”.

“This commitment is and must be based on the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

“We welcome this commitment because we in the ANC places a high premium on party-to-party relations, especially with progressive and like-minded parties across the world.

“We see this as a vital step towards building a progressive global movement for good, that is so desperately needed in the current conjuncture,” said Mashatile.

With some liberation movements having been rendered politically-irrelevant, Mashatile said: “Comrades, we have watched with great admiration, how the Communist Party of China has conducted itself in order to remain relevant, as well as to earn and keep the people’s support and respect.

“We have learnt from the CPC, the value of remaining deeply-rooted among the people.

“Equally, China’s commitment to advancing people’s democracy and ensuring that the people run the country, resonates firmly with the injunction in the Freedom Charter that; the People Shall Govern.”

SA Communist Party national treasurer Joyce Moloi-Moropa, described CPC national congress as “significant in reasserting the hope and centrality for the triumph of socialism in the 21st century and beyond”.

“The congress reaffirmed the correctness of a decisive state intervention in uprooting poverty on behalf of the Chinese nation.

“This is demonstrated by China’s success in uprooting millions  of people out of poverty and the significance of digital connectivity,” said Moloi-Moropa.

Said Lindiwe Zulu, ANC head of international relations and Minister for Social Development: “Through our bilateral relations, as well as the multilateral forums that we share, we will urge for humanity’s shared development, collective safety and stability.

“For this reason, we support the efforts that are intended at safeguarding China’s state power, systems, and ideology.

“We will all agree that insecurity anywhere leads to the reversal of development.

“In the same manner, threats to China’s security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, will retard China’s progress to becoming a modern socialist society in all respects.”

In his keynote address, People’s Republic of China ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, who attended the historic CPC congress, said: “Last week, from October 16th to 22nd, people of the world had their eyes on the 20th national congress of the CPC, which concluded with huge success.

“The congress is a meeting of great importance.

“It takes place at a critical time as China embarks on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advance toward our second centenary goal.

“The congress laid out well-informed guiding principles and missions of the Party and the country for the next five years and more.

“The success of the congress has important practical and far-reaching historical significance for inspiring and mobilizing the whole party, the entire military, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to make greater achievements in the new era.”

Added Chen: “Because I attended this very congress in Beijing, it is my great pleasure to share my observations and thoughts with my South African friends today.

“The 20th CPC national congress, is an unprecedented grand event.

“A total of 2 296 delegates and 83 specially invited representatives attended.

“The attendees are blessed with the trust of more than 96 million party members and the ardent expectations of over 1.4 billion Chinese people.

“The congress elected a new Central Committee, adopted a resolution on approving the report of the 19th Central Committee and a resolution on adopting the revised constitution of the Communist Party of China.”

Chen said the most important political achievement of the congress was that “a new CPC Central Committee has been elected, with comrade Xi Jinping at its core.”

Said Chen: “The re-election of comrade Xi Jinping as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, represents the people’s wish and the expectation of all.

“It reflects the common aspiration of 96 million members of the CPC.

“On the journey ahead, we shall always keep an enterprising spirit and write new chapters in developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

“We shall always act for the people and rely on them in everything we do and turn the people’s aspiration for a better life into a living reality.

“We shall always press forward with self-imposed reform.

“We must not halt our steps in exercising full and rigorous inter-party governance.

“We must make sure that our century-old Party, the biggest in the world, will become ever more vigorous through self-revolution.

“On the journey ahead, we shall always champion the common values of humanity. Just as China cannot develop in isolation from the world, the world needs China for its development. China will open its door ever wider.

“We will be steadfast in deepening reform and opening-up across the board and in pursuing high-quality development. A prosperous China will create many more opportunities for the world.

We must forge with enterprise and fortitude and endeavor to create a better future.

“The congress further established the core position of General Secretary Xi Jinping in the Central Committee and the whole Party, laying a solid political foundation for striving for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era.”

Chen said since the 18th CPC national congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping – “with his extraordinary courage in theoretical advancement – outstanding political wisdom, superb leadership and strong sense of mission, has united and led all party members and all Chinese people to usher in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

“General Secretary Xi Jinping won the support of all Party members, the armed forces and all Chinese people, as well as high praise from the international community.”

Other speakers included University of Johannesburg scholar on Chinese affairs, Professor David Monyae, cabinet ministers Angie Motshekga, Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, ambassador Anil Sooklal, Pretoria News editor Piret Rampedi, ANC national executive committee member Mathole Motshekga and University of Johannesburg PHD candidate Edmund Ugar.