South Africa and China this month celebrate 20 years of formal diplomatic relations. The countries have signed a significant number of bilateral cooperation agreements in areas including trade, investment, economic and people-to-people relations over that period.    The Department of International Relations and cooperation (Dirco) said in a statement on Monday that, over the previous two decades, the countries have assumed increased strategic significance, starting with a partnership in 2000, to a strategic partnership in 2004 and ultimately to a comprehensive strategic partnership since the signing of the Beijing Declaration in 2010.   “South Africa and China strengthened their friendship in 2017 through the inaugural South Africa-China high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism, which took place in Pretoria, in April 2017.

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