Li Xiaolin, the President of the Chinese People's Association for friendship with foreign countries (CPAFFC) and Manne Dipico, the President of SA-China People's Friendship Association (SACPFA), officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the 26th of March 2013 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The MOU was one of many documents signed after a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma. Xi is in South Africa on a State visit for the BRICS summit in Durban.
This MOU is aimed at enhancing comprehensive cooperation between South Africa and China in areas such as the economy, culture, healthcare, education and among others.
The two Associations consolidated their agreement to strengthen the friendship between the people from both countries, further international cooperation, uphold world peace, and promote common development by frequent and efficient communication, conferences, visits, friendly city ties, cooperation in trade and investment, cultural exchanges, personnel training, social welfare and other events. They also agreed to maintain, develop and deepen comprehensive cooperation in areas like the economy, culture, science, technology, talents and others, to create advantageous conditions for bilateral common development.
CPAFFC is one of the first national people's organizations that engage in people-to-people diplomacy of the People's Republic of China, and on the other hand, SACPFA is currently the only people's Association for friendship with China in South Africa.
The signing of this MOU coincides with the 15th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China and is also during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit in South Africa, which shows the significance of developing bilateral people-to-people communication between South Africa and China. The two associations hope to enhance the friendship and expand cooperation between the two countries.
"I believe our two associations will surely take the signing of this MOU as an opportunity to carry out all-round, profound and pragmatic cooperation, in order to benefit people from both countries," said Li Xiaolin. Manne Dipico added that the successful signing of the MOU laid a good foundation for further cooperation and common development in the future and that , it would also extend the friendship between the two countries to a wider area.