Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Pretoria for a state visit to South Africa before attending the annual BRICS summit in Johannesburg between Wednesday and Friday.
Xi and First Lady Peng Liyuan arrived at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on Monday night to a warm welcome from a senior committee led by Lindiwe Sisulu, the country's minister of international relations and cooperation, Xinhua reports.
This is Xi's third state visit to South Africa and upon arrival he noted: "During the visit, I hope to exchange views with President Cyril Ramaphosa on bilateral relations and the forthcoming Beijing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, as well as international and regional issues that concern both countries."
The Beijing summit, the third such cooperation forum, will take place in the Chinese capital in September 2018.
Xi is currently in Africa on a four-nation visit. He has already spent time in Rwanda and Senegal, and will finish his tour with a stopover in Mauritius.
After a meeting with his South African counterpart Ramaphosa, Xi will head to Johannesburg for the 10th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and Russia) summit, which this year has adopted the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the 4th Industrial Revolution".
Analysts expect the leaders of the five major emerging economies to discuss ways to cope with the trend of trade protectionism and proposals regarding more pragmatic industrial and trade cooperation, according to CCTV.
"The European Union and Japan have signed a sweeping free trade deal. If Europe and the US also reach such a kind of agreement, then the BRICS nations will be excluded. The block should come up with their own concrete cooperation results during this summit," said Chen Fengying, a former senior expert at the research organisation China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. – gbtimes