Professor Paul Tembe’s book on President Xi Jinping and Chinese-South African (SA) relations in the new era could not have seen the light at a more opportune time.
Rarely in the history of international relations, during a period when the world appears to be on the verge of war, has a President of the People’s Republic of China been portrayed so warmly on the global arena. The country’s tight ties with China is very important to South Africans.
During the well-attended and prestigious book launch held at Nutting house outside Mbombela on Friday, Prof Tembe, a lecturer in Mandarin at the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at the University of South Africa (Unisa), told guests that his vision for the book is to highlight the role played by Pres Jinping in fostering Chinese-South Africa relations.
“My book provides clarity on the role of China’s and SA’s cooperation in the region and the African continent, highlighting the proposals and initiatives of President Jinping and his thoughts on enhancing the policies of the two countries. “It will also help readers to understand the Chinese-African policy in the context of those proposals and his countless deliberations during his visit to SA,” said Prof Tembe.
He added that this book is a uniquely timed addition to the study of SA’s relationship with China, which surpassed a quarter of a century this year. “The two countries are counselled to deliberate and dispense with what has become redundant and redouble their efforts to sustain and improve upon mutual benefits. The relationship between the two countries is integral to establishing a community with a shared concern for mankind,” he said.
Prof Tembe also said the book aims to play the devil’s advocate in seeking to highlight loopholes and bottlenecks which might strain or jeopardize gains of this bilateral cooperation. The book identifies five-bottlenecks between Chinese-South Africa relations; lack of public awareness; conflict between policy and law; short-term versus long-term planning and implementation of policy and “reading from the old book while eating from the new book.”
He also stressed warnings in the book that unless these factors are resolved, SA stands to lose much in terms of international recognition brought about by its relations with China. “Both parties need to resolve the above-mentioned bottlenecks if we are to see advances and benefits of mutual respect and benefits and for creating a win-win situation and a partnership of equals between China and SA, including the entire African continent,” he said.
The distinguished and learned Prof Tembe thanked those who cooperated during the research for the book. The book is available in all book shops across SA.