President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is not worried that his co-operation with China will affect diplomatic relations with the United States.
China is currently facing a trade war with the US, after President Donald Trump imposed tariff hikes on Chinese goods being exported to the US. Beijing has reciprocated.
Ramaphosa says South Africa has the right to associate with whoever it wants.
He was answering questions at a media brief during the closing of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.
Ramaphosa says, “We had a lot of bilaterals, in fact bilaterals with all the BRICS countries, a number of the plus countries and outreach countries. We want to associate with countries that respect our sovereignty, our independence. We should not be told who our friends should be or who our enemies should be.”