New Chinese ambassador 'a clear message Beijing takes SA seriously'
A new Chinese ambassador has arrived in South Africa. What do we know and what can we expect from Chen Xiaodong?
He is a former assistant foreign minister and now appointed the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa.
His predecessor was called back to Beijing in April and the post has been unoccupied since, probably due to the lockdown.
He's no stranger to South Africa having visited on behalf of the People's Republic many times in the past.
Per the State of Disaster regulations, he is currently completing quarantine before presenting himself to the Ramaphosa administration.
Our relationship with China is unarguably one of the most important diplomatic ties of this country and this simply has to work. His predecessor was rather outspoken, what can we expect from this new, red dawn?
International relations scholar, Oscar Van Heerden, gives Refilwe Moloto his view on the new appointment.
Van Heerden says Chen Xiaodong is an experienced diplomat.
It is quite an honour to have such a high-level official from the Chinese government to be appointed ambassador to South Africa.Oscar Van Heerden, International relations scholar
Xiaodong has served in many African countries and has a wealth of experience, says Van Heerden.
If you understand anything about the Chinese, it is a sign of utter respect towards the South African government.Oscar Van Heerden, International relations scholar
He says it was Chinese president, Xi Jinping, who said when including an African partner into Brics, it should be South Africa.
It is a clear message from Beijing that they take South Africa seriously.Oscar Van Heerden, International relations scholar
Listen to the interview below:
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