Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95, peacefully at his home in South Africa on December 5. Known as the most prominent figure in the fight to end apartheid in South African; he later becoming the nation’s first black President. Yet his legacy spread way further than South Africa alone, even reaching to the far east to China and beyond; he became a symbol of hope and freedom to millions all over the world.
After his release from prison in 1990, Mandela traveled the world, thanking those who had supported the ANC, and he continued to rally support for reform in South Africa. One of the countries visited was China, and Mandela later endorsed the importance of the relationship between China and his nation. On meeting former Vice- President Zeng Qinghong in South Africa, Mandela revealed that former Chinese leaders such as as Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Zhu De, as well as the Chinese people had given him great support in the South Africans’ fights for independence and against apartheid rule, saying:
” The South African people would never forget that victory of the revolution in China, marked by the founding of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949, had imposed important influence on struggles of the South Africans.”
Throughout his Presidential career he often pushed the importance of bilateral relations with China. Mandela will unquestioningly, and almost universally, be remembered as a great man who presence graced the world.
image from anc archives.