A long-standing trading partner with a number of African countries, the People’s Republic of China is seeking to improve its security relations on the continent, with particular emphasis on collaboration with South Africa on defence technology.
A high-level Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) delegation visited South Africa as recently as June.
The People’s Liberation Army National University of Defense Science and Technology (NUDT), one of China’s most respected science and technology institutions, visited the South African Naval College in Gordon’s Bay to conduct standard learning exercises in the SA Navy.
The delegation was led by Major General Hu Jilin, Political Commissioner.
The NUDT delegates also visited and held positive discussions with Armscor and the SA National War School.
The University is known for its fields such as computer science and technology, composite materials, information system design and aerospace engineering.
The NUDT team won the 10th edition of the Global Trajectory Optimization Competition (GTOC X), the Olympic Games, in June.
The visit arose as a result of the RSA / PRC Defense Committee meeting held in Beijing in August 2018, where it was agreed that China would seek further knowledge on the development of defense technology and joint operations to support training in South Africa.
It is the second visit of the NUDT Delegations to South Africa in the last two years, with the University seeking potential collaboration on mutual education and joint work as part of China’s efforts to promote bilateral security cooperation between South Africa and China.
As China is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and manufacturing producers and has the fastest-growing military research and development sector, China looks to South Africa for cooperation in the defence industry.
Via reciprocal training of staff, exchanges between the defense industry and joint defense development study, both countries could establish a win – win relationship. In the field of military training and defense technology research, China is open to ideas on academic and research exchanges, joint research laboratories, joint ventures, technology transfer, etc. Many research institutions and producers in the South African defense industry rely on the South African nation.
While China attaches greater importance to establishing cooperative security ties with South Africa, several other PLA delegations will visit South Africa in the coming months for discussions with their South African counterparts to further improve bilateral relations.
With the South African defence industry world leaders in many fields, China is keen to develop a win – win partnership on defence technology with South Africa.