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Xi expands cooperation on visits

2013-04-01 08:46 China Daily     Web Editor: Wang Fan comment

Foreign minister hails trips to African countries and Russia

President Xi Jinping's visits to Russia and African nations continued the traditional friendship and expanded "win-win cooperation" between China and these countries, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday as the president returned to Beijing.

Xi's 10-day, maiden foreign tour as China's new head of state took him to four countries, where he met heads of state and dignitaries, witnessed the signing of more than 70 cooperation agreements and attended the Fifth BRICS Summit.

Wang said the visits opened a new chapter in China's diplomacy under the new leadership, and demonstrated the nation's independent and peaceful foreign policy.

In Russia

Xi's visit to Russia, the first stop of his tour, enhanced mutual trust and expanded cooperation between the two countries, the foreign minister said.

Xi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spent eight hours together in meetings and exchanges that could be characterized as frank, practical and congenial, said Wang.

Feng Yujun, head of Russian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the visit elevated Sino-Russian ties.

"The enhanced cooperation between the two countries is important for maintaining regional and world peace, especially when the international order is undergoing restructuring," Feng said.

In Moscow, Xi visited the Russian defense ministry and the command center for the Russian armed forces, the first foreign head of state to make such a tour. The two countries signed 32 cooperation agreements, dubbed the "contracts of the century" because of their enormous value and the fact they cover a long period of time, Wang said.

They will try to transform a trade structure that focuses heavily on energy and resources into a new model that also focuses on sectors such as manufacturing, high-tech and aerospace, said Wang.

In Africa

Choosing Africa as one of the destinations for the president showed that China cherishes its traditional friendship with Africa and has injected fresh meaning into these ties under new circumstances, Wang said.

Xi visited Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo. He sent a clear message to the international community that China and Africa have been "a community of shared destinies," and they will forever be reliable friends and sincere partners, Wang said.

In a speech in Tanzania, Xi expounded on China's Africa policy in these new times, highlighting "sincerity", "real results", "affinity" and "good faith".

In meetings with African leaders, Xi stressed that Africa is a continent full of hope and China supports African countries in their efforts to explore the development paths that suit their respective domestic conditions.

Xi pledged to boost cooperation in transnational and trans-regional infrastructure construction to bring about connectivity in Africa, answering to the needs of African countries.

He also announced a host of measures to support Africa, including increasing assistance to the continent and expanding Sino-African cooperation in finance and human resources.

More than 40 cooperation agreements, including those in projects conducive to improving the livelihoods of Africans, were signed between China and the three African nations.

Wang said Xi's African tour increased both sides' willingness to cooperate, and had expanded Sino-African cooperation.

Martyn Davies, a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, said in an article that as China broadens its investment in Africa geographically and deepens its in financial commitment, it will increasingly have a vested interest in Africa's long-term developmental success.

"Given the desperate state of Africa's infrastructure, the continent needs to embrace China as a new large-scale infrastructure financier, specifically in light of the current global recession and withdrawal of capital from emerging markets and Africa," he said.

Xi attended the Fifth BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first time the grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had held their annual meeting in Africa.

Wang said the meeting promoted unity among major emerging economies and injected fresh impetus into the development of the cooperation mechanism.

Special Report:

President Xi Jinping's Four-nation Debut Tour

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