XI and Zuma oversee signing of $6.5bn of deals

Dec 07, 2015 South African President Jacob Zuma recently hosted a 21-gun salute welcome ceremony for Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to the country.

After the welcome ceremony, Xi and Zuma held talks on ways to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two emerging economies.

During the visit, the duo presided over the signing of a loan agreement worth $6.5 billion, aimed at building infrastructures in the country.

Speaking at a joint news conference after the signing, President Xi said:

“China-South Africa relations are now standing at a new historical starting point. Our two countries have strong economic complementarity, a strong desire for cooperation and a broad prospect for further cooperation. We are ready to work together with South Africa to seize the favourable opportunities and build China South Africa relations into a model of unity and cooperation between China and other developing countries,”

Also speaking at the news conference, President Zuma said:

“We have just witnessed the signing of twenty-six agreements that are worth ninety-four billion rand. The volume of agreements indicates the amount of work that has been done in the past few months. We agreed that more could and should be done to increase our trade and investment figures”.

Chinese influence in Africa is widely perceived as a healthy counterbalance to the West. Although Western governments have accused China of turning a blind eye to conflicts and rights abuses in their pursuit of trade and aid policies on the continent.

President Xi, who began his tour of Africa in Zimbabwe, also co-chaired a two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg.

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