South Africa and China: The Making of a Partnership
South Africa–China relations are developing at a steady pace, from the onset of formal diplomatic ties in 1998 to the multi-faceted partnership we see today.
Its various elements include historical links, diplomatic relations, multilateral co-operation, trade and investment, and public media engagement. At the same time, there are differences between the two countries that continue to shape ties and distinguish them from China’s relations with other African countries. South Africa is a diversified economy with relatively strong institutional structures and is home to a vibrant civil society; China is seen as a key competitor in sectors South Africa views as strategic, as well as being an investor in resources that enjoy a favourable trade balance. Sharing a similar global vision, the two emerging countries are working towards closer strategic co-operation that takes account of the structure of bilateral economic ties, domestic diversity and overlapping interests.