President Xi Jinping is to carry out a major diplomatic move from July 19 to 28, paying State visits to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa, attending the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg in S. Africa, and visiting Mauritius during a stopover.
The overseas trip, his first after being re-elected Chinese president in March, is aimed at pushing for concerted efforts to further boost common development and improve global governance against the backdrop of profound changes in the international circumstances.
Xi’s visit to the UAE will be the first by a Chinese head of state in 29 years. He is scheduled to meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The UAE is the first Gulf country to forge a strategic partnership with China. In recent years, bilateral cooperation has enjoyed comprehensive, result-oriented, efficient and rapid development under the guidance and support of both countries’ leaders.
China has been the UAE’s largest trading partner for several consecutive years while the UAE has become China’s second largest trading partner and largest destination of exports in the West Asia and North Africa region.
The UAE-China strategic partnership covers not just one or two areas, but a variety of areas, UAE ambassador to China Ali Al Dhaheri said.
Xi will embark on his fourth visit to Africa, home to more developing countries than any other continent, since he assumed office as Chinese president in 2013.
Xi’s visit to Senegal will be the first by a Chinese head of state in nine years and his first visit to a West African country. Xi will hold talks with Senegalese President Macky Sall and witness the signing of a series of cooperation documents.
Xi’s Rwanda visit will be the first by a Chinese president. He will hold talks with his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, and the two leaders will witness the signing of multiple cooperation documents, which will lift bilateral practical cooperation to a higher level.
Xi’s visit will intensify China-Rwanda and China-Africa cooperation in such areas as politics, economy and social development, said Herman Musahara, a professor at the School of Economics at University of Rwanda, expressing the hope that the trip will also promote Chinese investment in Africa.
Xi’s visit to South Africa will be his third state visit to the African country. Xi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will attend celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.
In Mauritius, Xi and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth will meet on ties and cooperation, as well as other international and regional issues of common concern.
China is the largest trading partner of Mauritius while Mauritius is the first country in Africa to have started free trade negotiations with China.
From July 25-27, Xi will join other BRICS leaders for a summit in Johannesburg. It will be the sixth consecutive time Xi has attended such meetings.
On the international landscape, the world economy is enjoying sustained recovery, and the fourth industrial revolution is now in full swing. Meanwhile, global governance is faced with increasing challenges, with unilateralism and protectionism on the rise.
Against such a backdrop, how BRICS countries will take on their responsibilities and what kind of role they will play have caught the world’s attention.
Xi will attend the BRICS Business Forum, leaders’ meetings, as well as an informal meeting to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the BRICS summit mechanism. He will also hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of relevant countries.
During these activities, Xi is expected to make proposals on how to deepen BRICS cooperation and build a community with a shared future for mankind.