Xi arrives in Brazzaville for state visit--China Economic Net
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Xi arrives in Brazzaville for state visit
Last Updated:2013-03-29 19:09 | Xinhua
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan wave upon their arrival in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, March 29, 2013. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Brazzaville Friday for a state visit to the Republic of Congo. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Brazzaville Friday for a state visit to the Republic of Congo, the first by a Chinese head of state since the two countries set up diplomatic relations 49 years ago.

In a written statement issued upon arrival at the airport, Xi said that relations between China and the Republic of Congo have developed at a rapid pace in all sectors, and that practical cooperation has made remarkable progress, which benefit the two peoples.

"During my visit, I will meet with President Denis Sassou Nguesso and exchange views with him on the development of bilateral ties, and world and regional issues of common concern," Xi said in the statement.

"My current visit, I believe, would deepen mutual understanding and friendship between the two sides, promote exchanges and cooperation in all sectors, and lift the bilateral ties to a new and higher level."

Over the past decades, China and the Republic of Congo have had fruitful cooperation in political, economic and trade, and cultural sectors.

China is now the Republic of Congo's largest trading partner. Two-way trade jumped to 5 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 from 290 million dollars in 2002.

Xi said that during his visit, he would meet and exchange views with parliamentarians of the Republic of Congo, adding that the two countries will sign a host of documents of cooperation.

Xi flew in from Durban, South Africa, where he attended a summit of BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Before that, Xi had paid state visits to Russia, Tanzania and South Africa.

This is Xi's first trip to the African continent after he became Chinese president earlier this month. It has fully demonstrated China's commitment to its relations with African countries.

China and Africa have forged a profound friendship during the past decades. The two sides have supported each other in the course of their national development and coordinated positions in international affairs.

The Sino-African relations have grown more vigorously since 2000, when the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was launched.

At the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2006, China and Africa decided to establish a new type of strategic partnership, which has deepened cooperation in all areas in recent years.

China became Africa's biggest trading partner in 2009. In 2012, bilateral trade grew to 198 billion dollars.

China's investment in Africa has also registered strong growth. By June 2012, China had invested 45 billion dollars in Africa, including over 15 billion dollars of direct investment.

Meanwhile, over 2,000 Chinese companies are operating in 50 African countries, and more than 85 percent of their staff are Africans.

China has also stepped up assistance to Africa, particularly for the well-being of the people, poverty reduction, disaster preparedness and mitigation, and capacity building.

Xi will wrap up his four-nation trip on Saturday.

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