1 June 2011
South Africa and China have agreed to work closer together to combat criminal activity ranging from drug and human trafficking to cyber security, and on the need to improve intelligence and information sharing.
The agreement to share expertise and increase cooperation followed discussions between South African Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu and Chinese Vice-Minister of Public Security Zhang Xinfeng in Pretoria this week.
“Our main relationship with China is trade,” Sotyu said. “They are our number one trade partners, but China felt that we needed to go beyond trade and we needed to deal with issues of crime.”
Organised crime, human trafficking
One of the key issues that came up for discussion was that of organised crime, while drug and human trafficking also featured in the discussions.
Cooperation with regards to police training and the possibility of exchanging knowledge between the police in both countries also formed part of the talks, Sotyu added.
The issue of cyber crime also featured in the discussions, with a focus on sharing best practices in dealing with the phenomenon.
Both ministries also committed themselves to strengthening cooperation to combat transnational crimes.
Intelligence and information sharing
Networks of crime have grown in their reach and sophistication across national boundaries, Sotyu said, adding that the ministry remained committed to providing China with any assistance in case investigations and handovers of criminal suspects.
The need for enhanced exchange of intelligence and information sharing in combating terrorist activities, drug trafficking, illegal immigration, money laundering, arms smuggling and human trafficking, were also discussed.
Monday’s talks between South Africa and China are part of a broader agreement between the two governments on the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership.