Doc Mashabane, chief director of UN Political, Peace and Security Unit in South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation says South Africa and China have various opportunities to cooperate in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
“China and South Africa have to prioritize the strengthening of the UN, and defend multilateralism which is under attack by some big powers,” said Mashabane.
“The only protection we have is in the multilateralism to deal with global challenges.”
Mashabane made the remarks in a seminar called “South Africa and China at the UN Security Council” organized by Center of Africa-China Studies in the University of Johannesburg.
He said South Africa needs to work with China to reform the UN in general and the Security Council in particular.
China is one of the few countries who understand the views of Africa thanks to its long-standing relations with the African countries and can articulate its position in the UN, said Mashabane.
Former South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States Welile Nhlapo said there are many examples that the United States has unilaterally taken decisions disregarding the UNSC.
The International Relations lecturer at the University of Pretoria Sithembile Mbete said South Africa and China can work together to set the agenda of the emerging world in the UN.
The U.S. government is dismantling political and economic institutions, challenging the trade rules and existence of the UN, she said. “There is an opportunity for the South to set the agenda.”
Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian said that China will never forget that Africa helped the country to get a seat in the UN and will always stand by them.
China would like to see peace in the world so that there will be sustainable growth, added Lin.
“South Africa and China have a common interest for the developing world. A vote by China at the UNSC belongs to Africa and all developing world,” said the Chinese ambassador.
South Africa was elected into the UNSC as a non-permanent member for 2019-2020, the third term for the country that held a seat in the UNSC.