On April 27, 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma sent letters to each other celebrating the launch of reciprocal China-South Africa national theme years.
In his congratulatory letter, Xi said that, in 2014 and 2015, China and South Africa will each launch the national theme year of the other nation. "This is a major event for the humanities for both countries and an important event in their friendly bilateral relationship. It will promote understanding and friendship between the two peoples and enrich the substance of the comprehensive bilateral strategic partnership. The Chinese side is willing to use the national theme year as an opportunity to work together with South Africa, elevating the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level."
Zuma’s letter stated that, in recent years, the relationship between South Africa and China has advanced by leaps and bounds and that exchanges between the two peoples should be raised to a higher level.
Source: Xinhua, April 27, 2014