Pretoria – As The People’s Republic of China heads into its National Day Golden Week Holiday, the country’s ambassador-designate to South Africa Chen Xiaodong will today host his first event, a virtual reception of his country’s national day.
Chen, an academic and former assistant minister of foreign affairs, is the sixth envoy to what is considered a key diplomatic post for Chinese President Xi Jinping in building strategic partnerships with South Africa and on the continent.
China is South Africa’s largest trading partner while South Africa is China’s largest trading partner in Africa and, in today’s speech, Chen is expected to emphasise China-SA solidarity against Covid-19, and outline how he views the countries’ relations developing in the post-Covid-19 era.
The event coincides with the launch in this country of the third edition of the book by President Xi, The Governance of China, consisting of extracts from speeches and reports on Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
The book features 92 pieces on aspects of Chinese politics and policy over the past three years, including Xi’s report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017 and his speech at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China last year.
Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which combines the basic principles of Marxism with the specific circumstances of China, is a blueprint for the Communist Party of China and guides national development and foreign policy.
China is the world’s second largest economy and is stepping closer to its goal of becoming “a moderately prosperous society in all respects”, Xi notes. The book, which presents the official viewpoint of Xi and the Communist Party of China, outlines how it has eliminated poverty, enhanced wellbeing, and is achieving economic reform and rejuvenation into a modern society.
It includes a focus on organisation, leadership and power and how China is reaching outwards through projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative, and China’s global infrastructure and development strategy adopted in 2013.
The book stresses the goal of economic “win-win” co-operation for development, and includes the role of BRICS and the building of a strong China-Africa community, which is bound to be on the agenda during Chen’s term of office in South Africa.
Although compiled pre-Covid-19 there is a section on risk management and meeting problems head-on, and the issue of reunification of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan also receives attention, as does the need for harmony between humanity and nature in development.
The final piece in the third edition, in the chapter on Self reform of the Communist Party of China, is taken from a speech in January titled Strengthen discipline and scrutiny over the exercise of power which talks about the centrality of the Communist Party of China, and the need for discipline and clean governance.
Volume 111, which follows on from previous editions published in 2014 and 2017 (all translated into English) should prove a useful addition for those wanting a look inside the country and its president’s viewpoint to better understand China, its successes, and what shapes its relations with the world.