China and South Africa working together
Counsellor Mr. HU Zhangliang and Counsellor Ms. PAN Peng, spokespersons of the Embassy of China in South Africa held a press conference in Pretoria to brief the media on The Year of China in South Africa.
The event was officially launched on March 15, 2015 in Pretoria’s State Theatre with a concert which featured performances by, amongst others, the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra and the University of Pretoria Youth Choir, as well as solo performances by Chinese singer Zeng Yong and South African Ntombee Ngcobo.
South African Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa as well as China’s Minister of Culture, Luo Shugang, attended the opening.
In his congratulatory message to President Zuma, which was read by Minister Luo Shugang, President Xi Jinping from the People’s Republic of China said in 2015 there would be a focus on China and South Africa working together closely and organising “activities in a wide range of areas, including economy and trade, culture, education, science and technology, tourism, etcetera”.
“The events will showcase China’s development journey and its achievements as well as the fruitful results of China-South Africa cooperation,” Jinping said in the letter.
“I am convinced that like the year of South Africa in China in 2014, the year of China in South Africa will usher in another new chapter of people-to-people and cultural exchanges between our two countries.”
President Zuma, in his letter, which was read by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, thanked China for hosting South Africa last year.
Zuma said in his congratulatory message that China and South Africa's hosting of the "country year" celebrations bear a historic significance in further boosting bilateral ties.
South Africa sincerely thanked China for supporting South Africa's staging "the Year of South Africa in China" in 2014, and it will fully support the running of "the Year of China in South Africa" in 2015. "We are looking forward to the display of China’s rich culture in South Africa.” Zuma said.
Chinese expats that number around 300 000 in South Africa will also form part of the program. They have volunteered to partake in some of the events and have even made generous contributions through sponsorships and other resources said PAN.
At the briefing Ambassador TIAN Xuejun also presented awards to the winners of the Slogan and Story Competition for the Year of China in South Africa.