/ 13 June 2008

Zuma renews ties in China

There was no need for apprehension once the term of the current South African government came to an end, African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma said in Shanghai, China, on Friday.

Zuma was addressing a meeting with the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen and revive ties between the ANC and CPC.

”There is one ANC. We will manage the transition as efficiently as we have always done in previous years.”

”We will next year hold our general elections, which should take place as efficiently and as smoothly as all previous ones since 1994, managed by our electoral commission,” he said.

Zuma emphasised that there was no uneasiness between him and President Thabo Mbeki.

”We have established good working relations since the change of ANC leadership, and the party headquarters and government work well together.

”There has been no crisis at all. President Mbeki and I have worked together for many years and continue to do so, for the good of our country and its people,” he added.

The ANC also expressed its condolences to China in the aftermath of the earthquake in the Sichuan province.

”We wish the Chinese people strength as you confront the trauma, loss of life and the devastation. We are one people, your pain is our pain, and your loss is our loss.”

The meeting also covered the ANC’S interaction with the CPC over the years.

China supported liberation movements in a number of African countries and offered assistance in the armed struggle, said Zuma.

”As the ANC we will be investing a lot of effort in continental as well as south-to-south party political renewals.”

”Our visit to China is part of that mission, to revive relations, but also to learn from the CPC on its cadre development and party organisational work on the ground,” said Zuma.

He also added that a number of achievements were made in SA since attaining democracy in 1994.

”We have managed to undertake the largest provision of basic services to the poor in our country’s history.”

”An increasing number of South Africans now have access to housing, water, electricity, sanitation, telephones, education and healthcare than ever before,” he said.

Zuma added that the two parties had come a long way in solidarity and friendship.

”We believe that our two countries will cooperate and share experiences as we both host huge international sporting events, the Beijing Olympics 2008 and the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup in SA.

”We look forward to taking our party-to-party collaboration to greater heights in the political, economic, scientific and educational arenas,” he said. – Sapa