October 21st, 2008 | PLA Daily China-South Africa military relations further expanded
On the morning of October 20, South African naval frigate Spioenkop successfully completed its five-day friendly visit to China and left the Yangtze River naval dock in Shanghai for Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to continue its Asian tour.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa. It’s the first time for South African Navy to send its naval ship to visit China, which has been warmly received by the Chinese officers and men as well as local people. As the first naval ship from South Africa, or even from the entire African continent, the visit by frigate Spioenkop indicates a further expansion of China-South Africa military relations and an embodiment of deepening of exchanges in various fields after the 2006 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Both the Chinese and South African armed forces are now at a crucial historical stage of transformation from mechanization to informationization, and both armed forces are now actively exploring a path of military transformation suited to their own national conditions. Similar military development missions have enabled the two militaries to share many common languages and enrich the contents of their bilateral military cooperation. Through active exchanges and learning from and drawing on each other’s useful experience and practices, they can vigorously promote their respective national defense and army buildings.
The sound development of the military relations between China and South Africa is built on long-term mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Mutual benefit is an important goal for China to develop its relations with African countries. Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs is an important principle adhered to by China in developing its relations with African countries. China will, as always, support South Africa and the related countries to work together with international organizations, to promote peaceful resolution of hotspots and crisis in African regions, and build up a safe and harmonious environment for development so as to help Africa to realize common development with other regions in the world.