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Human Capacity

26 August 2017

Ambassador LIN Songtian of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) to South Africa (SA) outlined China’s policy and vision and how it is developing to position China as the largest economy in the world. He recently arrived in SA, a country he has visited more times than any other country. Having started his career at the foreign ministry in 1986, his first African posting was in Zambia in 1999, he has since served as Ambassador to Malawi and Liberia and now SA.

Photo: Ambassador LIN Songtian and Madam Ni Lingling of the PRC hosted a farewell recepetion for the students at the Embassy in Pretoria. Pictured with them is Ghaleeb Jeppie, Chief Director: International Relations at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)for SA.

Speaking at a press conference at the Embassy in Pretoria, Ambassador Lin shared his considerable experience in Africa and vast knowledge of China-Africa relations.  Explaining the process of China’s “opening up” accredited to former Chairman of the Communist Party, Deng Xiaoping’s vision which began with creating four special economic zones (SEZ) that led the economic reforms.

A similar plan is being implemented on the African continent; Ethiopia, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Kenya are earmarked to drive economic transformation. This together with the establishment of a regional office for the New Development Bank (NDB) in SA and a USD 60 billion pledge from the Forum on China Africa Cooperation is clear indication of China’s commitments.

‘This is the best country in the world’ said Ambassador Lin when speaking of South Africa. It is the largest and most advanced economy in Africa. ‘Life is colourful’ he said expressing his admiration for the people and abundant natural beauty of the country. He also pointed to the challenges of safety and security in the country saying that more needs to be done to promote the South Africa in China.

Key to overcoming some of the challenges was developing a skilled and informed citizen. In this regard a sending of ceremony for South African students who received full scholarships to attend Universities in China was a key cooperation to enhance much needed capacity and forge an inclusive economy in which prosperity can be shared.



March 2018






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