Remembering Nelson Mandela: Here’s China’s Must-Read Message To South Africa

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Remembering Nelson Mandela – The People’s Republic of China (PRC), on Tuesday, urged South Africa and the rest of the African continent not to lose sight of the great vision of former president Nelson Mandela who made abundant sacrifices, particularly towards equality.

China’s ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, stated this while commemorating the fourth anniversary of Mandela’s death.

Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on a book authored by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pretoria, Songtian described President Mandela as a great leader not only to his people but also to the people of the world – particularly the developing world.

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He said one remarkable thing Mandela fought for was to ensure that the new republic in South Africa is shared by all people – both black and the white equally.

“President Mandela fought for the people, the people of this continent. Unfortunately, there are not so good stories in the history of this country, I have to say, but President Mandela made sure the people enjoy equally the freedom and democracy in this great country. We have to learn to appreciate the great contribution he made to this country, and to the world,” the Chinese ambassador added.

Tuesday, December 5, marked the fourth anniversary of the late former president Nelson Mandela’s death. Mandela, a global icon‚ struggle veteran and Nobel peace prize winner passed away on December 5, 2013 – years after spending 27 years in prison on Robben Island after he was convicted for his activism against apartheid.



Touching on China’s massive economic investment across the African continent, Songtian admitted that Beijing understands that peace and stability on the continent are directly linked to economic emancipation and sustainable development.

“We always say Africa is a brother, friend and partner of China. Everybody has a friend, but what does it mean to be called a brother or a sister? The meaning is very simple – to understand each other and to help each other. We would like to see durable peace and sustainable development in this continent so that the people can benefit.

China has gone so far in the past three decades, but this continent, unfortunately, we have to recognise, still remains in poverty, or left behind. Now it’s the time to work together on this continent. If we are united and committed, everything is possible.

We work together with this continent for a win-win cooperation for common development. According to our culture, we are brothers and sisters – we have to help each other. If China goes off far in prosperity, that is not in our interest. In our view, if you are not independent economically, it’s hard to be independent economically. The potential here is more than enough.

The people, in terms of human resources, natural resources are more than enough. Now, you need a partner a friend, a true partner to strengthen your capacity in terms of infrastructure, and in terms of human resource development. Those are the top two priorities we are fighting for, together with this continent.”

South Africa has a remarkable and historic relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since 2007, their relationship bond in trade, policy and politics have continued to witness a tremendous increase.

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In 2010, China was South Africa’s largest trading partner. The same year, during the Beijing Declaration, South Africa was upgraded to the diplomatic status of Strategic Comprehensive Partner by the Chinese government.