2012-07-23 — Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, minister of defense and military veterans of the Republic of South Africa, met with a Chinese military delegation headed by Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on July 18, 2012 in Pretoria, capital of South Africa. The Chinese military delegation came to South Africa to attend the fifth meeting of the China-South Africa Defense Committee.
Nqakula extended her welcome to Ma Xiaotian for coming to attend the fifth meeting of the China-South Africa Defense Committee. She said that South Africa and China enjoy traditional friendly relations. The South African side is deeply grateful to the Chinese side for her strong support since as early as the national liberation period. The South African side hopes to constantly strengthen the bilateral exchanges and cooperation, especially the contacts in the defense field, in a bid to jointly improve the ability to meet challenges.
Ma Xiaotian said that China-South African relations have been maintaining a good momentum of development since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 14 years ago as evidenced by frequent reciprocal visits made by high-ranking officials of the two countries, increasingly deepened political mutual trust and close consultation and coordination in international affairs. The visit to South Africa this time is intended to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and further promote the relations between the two militaries. We are willing to make joint efforts with the South African friends to develop the friendly and cooperative relations between the two militaries towards multi-field, multi-level and all-around direction.
Ma Xiaotian and Solly Shoke, chief of the South African National Defense Force, co-chaired the fifth meeting of the China-South Africa Defense Committee on July 17，2012. The two sides had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on such issues as international and regional security situations and cooperation between the two militaries, and reached a broad consensus.
Ma Xiaotian arrived in South Africa on July 15 for a four-day-long visit, during which he attended the fifth meeting of the China-South Africa Defense Committee.