a) South Africa maintains relations with both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the territory of Taiwan, albeit at different levels.
South Africa established diplomatic relations with China in January 1998, as per the ‘Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations’. In paragraph 3 of the Communique, South Africa recognises that “there is but one China in the world, the Government of the PRC is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and recognises China’s position that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China”. As per this same agreement, however, South Africa could maintain its ties with Taiwan, albeit that they are limited to economic, scientific, and cultural exchanges.
In line with South Africa’s foreign policy principles as they relate to respect for other countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, South Africa thus does not perceive either China or Taiwan as the (i) aggressor or (ii) the victim.
b) The question of “what assistance does the Government intend to offer to show solidarity with the victim”, therefore, does not arise. South Africa strictly adheres to the “One China Policy” and accordingly regards Taiwan as an integral part of China (when calculating bilateral trade, the total volumes of trade with Taipei/Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong are added to China’s). While South Africa enjoys comprehensive strategic relations with China through its representative offices located in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, South Africa also maintains low-key commercial, scientific- and cultural engagements through its Liaison Office in Taipei.