Pretoria – The EFF has sent a message of solidarity with the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and the people of China as the Asian giant this week celebrates the 73rd anniversary of its founding.
“We particularly appreciate its [China’s] extended development and trade partnerships with the African continent and believe that the entire continent will derive useful lessons from the People’s Republic of China’s and realise maximum development in a single lifetime,” said EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Thambo.
“China has invested heavily in infrastructure development in Africa and was responsible for 31% of all infrastructure projects with a value of more than $50 million or more.
“As we celebrate the 73rd Anniversary of the PRC, we are looking forward to the 20th Congress of the CPC and believe that it should re-affirm, deepen, widen and strengthen the progressive and development partnerships it has with the African continent.”
In China, the National Day is celebrated on October 1 every year to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which is also marked by a week-long holiday.
Last week, the Chinese Embassy led by Ambassador Chen Xiaodong, and the Chinese Consulate in Joburg led by Consul-General Tang Zhongdong hosted different events, attended by numerous South African government officials and opposition leaders, to celebrate the occasion.
The EFF said it is imperative to join in the Chinese celebrations.
“The 1st of October 2022 marks exactly 73 years since the People’s Republic of China was established under the capable and illustrious leadership of the Communist Party of China, the most successful revolutionary movements in the world,” said Thambo.
Among a list of notable achievements, Thambo said, China has exponentially grown its economy to account for almost 20% of the global economy and trade as the second largest economy in the world.
“China has built a formidable state capacity, a critical condition for the country’s ability to achieve industrialisation and modernisation at a fast pace.
“China’s state-owned companies, such as China National Petroleum, China State Construction, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, China Railway Engineering Group, China Railway Construction, China Life Insurance and Bank of China, are amongst the world’s largest companies by revenue and some by market capitalisation,” he said.
Last week, Chinese Consul-General Tang and his wife Tingjiao Zhang hosted numerous delegates including ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.
Tang highlighted that China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years.
“The total trade volume of 2021 rose to $54 billion, of which South Africa exported $33bn to China, enjoying a good surplus. South Africa is also one of the largest investment destinations for Chinese companies in Africa. Incomplete figure shows that China has cumulatively invested $25bn more in South Africa,” he said.
A day earlier, Chinese Ambassador Chen and his wife Zhang Bin had hosted numerous guests, including Small Business Development Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi, and former president Kgalema Motlanthe and his wife Gugu.
Chen said practical co-operation in economy, trade and investment between South Africa and China is “flourishing with fruitful results”.
“From January to August this year, the two-way trade between China and South Africa increased by 9.2% year-on-year against headwinds, reaching $38 billion US dollars (R687bn). China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years,” he said.
He said Chinese enterprises have created 400 000 jobs in South Africa and will create another 20 000 jobs within three years.