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Xi Jinping to visit South Africa

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 9:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 March, 2013, 9:42pm

Incoming president Xi Jinping will visit South Africa this month, shortly after he takes up the post, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“On the 26 (March) there will be a state visit of China in Pretoria,” said spokesman Clayson Monyela.

Xi will then attend a summit of the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – in the Indian Ocean port city of Durban.

The trip is likely to be seen as highly symbolic, a sign that China’s drive for deeper economic ties with Africa will continue during Xi’s term as China’s paramount leader.

Sino-African trade is now worth around US$160 billion a year, with the continent providing many of the raw materials that feed China’s vast manufacturing sector.

At the Durban summit, BRICS leaders are expected to finalised plans to create a joint development bank and to discuss pooling their vast foreign currency reserves.

Xi’s visit to South Africa is expected to conclude on March 28.

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