Chinese Associations based in South Africa have petitioned the Democratic Alliance (DA) demanding an apology on the ‘regardless’ behavior from one of their mayors.
This follows a trip by the Tshwane Mayor, Solly Msimang to Taipei in Taiwan in December 2016.
The trip was received with condemnation from both the Chinese and the South African governments.
The trip is seen as impairing the existing foreign policies and a relationship that the two countries have developed over the years.
The letter, addressed to Msimang and DA’s leader Mmusi Maimane, state that for various reasons Taiwan is still separated from the Mainland, which is the People’s Republic of China and SA’s biggest trading partner.
The associations expressed their deepest disappointment and firmly opposed DA’s official statement which was published on their official website on Jan 2 and 3.
“Taiwan is South Africa’s second largest Asian investor with R14 billion worth of investments and trade between the two countries totaling R22 billion, with a trade balance of nearly R4 billion in South Africa’s favour according to 2013 statistics.” the DA’s website stated adding that “The 9 million jobless South Africans in our country deserve nothing less.”
This sparked a reaction from the Chinese associations questioning Msimang if he knows the total volume of China – SA trade relation and China’s investment.
“In 2013, bilateral trade between China and South Africa totaled valued R846.95 billion, while China exported R218.79 billion to South Africa, imported US R638.16 billion from South Africa. And a trade balance of US $ 31.49 billion in South Africa’s favour. Please remember it is in terms of US dollars! By end of 2013 China’s direct investment in South Africa was R120 billion,” the associations hit back.
They further asked if DA has taken this into consideration.
The letter also reminded DA that the modern history of China was a record of subjection to aggression, dismemberment and humiliation by foreign powers.
The associations added that it was also a chronicle of the Chinese people’s valiant struggles for national independence and in defense of their state sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity.
“The origin and evolution of the Taiwan question are closely linked with that period of history. For various reasons Taiwan is still separated from the Mainland. Unless and until this separation is brought to an end, the trauma on the Chinese nation will not be healed and the Chinese people’s struggle for national reunification and territorial integrity will continue,” said the associations in a statement.
On behalf of three hundred thousand South African Chinese, the associations said they are resolutely opposed to the despicable tactics of anyone or any political party interfering with the one-China principle and deliberately creates trouble for friendly cooperation between China and SA.
They then urged DA to apologise for Msimang’s reckless and regardless trip saying he must understand his Taipei trip has created troubles for both SA and Chinese governments and damaged trust between the two.
“These similar incidents must be promised not to happen again,” concluded the statement.