In December 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and delivered a speech. He proposed to upgrade China-Africa relations to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. He noted in particular that "both sides should adhere to exchange and mutual learning among civilizations", and should implement the "China-Africa People-to-people Cooperation Plan". During President Xi Jinping's visit to South Africa in 2015, he reached an important consensus with South African President Jacob Zuma on establishing the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism. During the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, presidents of the two countries agreed to launch the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism at as soon as possible.
On April 24, 2017, then Vice Premier and Chairman of the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism Liu Yandong and Minister of Arts and Culture and Chairman of the South African Council Nathi Mthethwa, co-chaired the first meeting of the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism in Pretoria, South Africa, and launched the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism. The meeting was themed "practice sincerity and amity, enhance people-to-people ties". Chairmen of both sides witnessed the signing of three cooperation agreements and three memoranda of cooperation at the meeting.↵ During the meeting, the Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Cooperation, South Africa-China Science Park Cooperation Seminar, China-South Africa High-level Thought Dialogue, Ceremony of Donation of Medical Equipment to Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Variety Show of China and South Africa Join Hands --- Celebrating the Launch of the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism and the 23rd Anniversary of the Founding of South Africa, the Second China-South Africa Youth Gala, Ceremony of Donation of Sewing Machines by the ALL-China Women's Federation to the African National Congress Women's League, and Visit to the Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology were held.
On June 28, 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Osaka. President Xi Jinping stressed that China is willing to continuously deepen political mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation with South Africa. Both sides should continue to support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, strengthen synergy with the Government of South Africa in the action plan for the next five years proposed in the Belt and Road Initiative and Eight Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, deepen cooperation in production capacity, infrastructure construction, human resources development, digital economy and new and high technologies. China is willing to share with South Africa its experience in poverty eradication and provide support for South Africa in achieving its development goals.
The China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism the first high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism established between China and an African country. It aims to create new opportunities for the development and enrichment of existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation and exchange mechanisms and programs.
Education, science & technology, culture, health, media, sports, tourism, youth, women and think tanks.
Brand activities in cooperation fields
Established China-South Africa Vocational Education Cooperation Alliance and China-South Africa University Students Entrepreneurship Education Alliance
Science & technology
Held South Africa-China Scientists High-level Dialogue and the Exhibition on the Achievements of South Africa-China Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation, and established the South Africa-China Joint Research Center for the Development and Utilization of Mineral Resources.
The variety show of China and South Africa Join Hands --- Celebrating the Launch of the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism and the 23rd Anniversary of the Founding of South Africa and the variety show of China-South Africa Mutual Understanding and Affection - Celebrating the Second Meeting of the China-South Africa High-level People to People Exchange Mechanism and the 20thAnniversary of China-South Africa Diplomatic Ties were held; China selected and sent art groups to South Africa to participate in such activities as the Happy Spring Festival and the Happy Carnival cruise and performance on the Heritage Day in South Africa; South China sent officials to attend the sixth International Festival of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Autumn Training Class of the Palace Museum held by China.↵
The Ministerial Forum on China-Africa Health Cooperation and the China-South Africa Health Working Group Meeting were held, African Genomics Centre in Cape Town was established, and health seminars and training courses were held.
English versions of such Chinese documentaries as Mazu of the World and Maritime Silk Road were broadcast in South Africa and both countries co-produced the documentary Responsibility of a Great Power.
BRICS Games were held in both countries.
The "China – Beyond Your Imagination" tourism promotion seminar was held in South Africa.
South African youths were invited to China-South Africa Youth Gala and China-South Africa Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum was held.
Dialogue between leaders of women organizations of the two countries was held, and South African women cadres were invited to attend the African Women Cadres Seminar.
China-South Africa High-level Thought Dialogue was held. Relevant Chinese universities have set up a branch of African Research Institutes in South Africa. The Report on the Development of China-South Africa People to People Exchange (2016-2017) was published.
Sub-national people-to-people cooperation
Held the China-South Africa Local Governments Dialogue, and issued the Report on the Development of China-South Africa Sister Cities.