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Remarks by Ambassador Chen Xiaodong at the Reception Marking China-South Africa-Russia Maritime Joint Exercise
2023-02-23 22:36

Your Excellency Vice Admiral Li Yujie, Deputy Commander of the PLA Navy,

Your Excellency Vice Admiral Monde Lobese, Chief of the South African Navy,

Your Excellency Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy,

Distinguished Guests,

Officers and Sailors of the 42nd Escort Task Group,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It is my great pleasure today to board Rizhao for the deck reception.

For a few days, Richard’s Bay has become a hot topic in the media. That speaks volumes to the significance and impact of the “Mosi-2” China-South Africa-Russia maritime joint exercise.

As we speak, changes unseen in a century have picked up pace and the world has seen new turbulence and transformation. Unilateralism has been on the rise and cold-war mentality is coming back.

China, South Africa and Russia are all responsible countries committed to preserving international peace, security and stability. The joint exercise will be good for enhancing pragmatic cooperation and joint operations among the three naval forces.

It will show how our three countries are determined to address maritime threats and challenges, preserve maritime security and to build a maritime community with a shared future.

Our joint efforts are conducive to peace, security and stability for the region and the world. 

This year marks 25 years of China-South Africa relations. With the joint guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Ramaphosa, our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership continues to deepen.

Our military, including naval exchanges have become a key part in our military relations. In as early as 2000, PLA Navy destroyer Shenzhen visited Cape Town. In 2008, the SA Navy frigate Mendi visited China, which was the first African navy ship to do so.

From 2011 to 2016, three of PLA Navy Gulf of Aden escort mission fleets visited South Africa.

The Rizhao fleet’s visit will further deepen China-South Africa naval exchanges and cooperation. That will add new highlights to 25 years of China-South Africa relations this year.

This year is also “South African year” for BRICS. As the five Heads of State gather again in South Africa, it will again demonstrate to the world a strong signal of BRICS countries in solidarity and coordination.

We believe that military and security cooperation will become a key future direction of BRICS cooperation.

We welcome Brazil’s participation as observer and we look forward to the participation of all BRICS countries when China hosts the “Mosi-3” exercise next time.

Last but not least, let me propose a toast:

To the full success of the “Mosi-2” maritime joint exercise!

To the health and success in all endeavors for all our guests!

I thank you.

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