China's Xi Jinping to visit UAE, South Africa in state visit

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  July 12, 2018 at 12:16 PM
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July 12 (UPI) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping is to visit four countries in the Middle East and Africa, following the signing of documents related to Beijing's One Belt, One Road Initiative.

Xi's visit was made public on the Chinese foreign ministry's website on Thursday and the schedule includes stopovers in the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa.

"Upon the invitations of Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, Macky Sall, president of Senegal, Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, and Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa, President Xi will be traveling to the four countries, from [July] 19 to 24 on a state visit," the ministry said in its statement.

The Chinese government added Xi is to stay in Johannesburg, South Africa, from July 25 to 28 to attend the 10th annual BRICS summit.

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Before Xi returns home, he will pay a "friendly visit" to Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean.

Xi's planned visit comes after the signing of economic agreements at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum on Tuesday in Beijing.

Xi signed the agreements and afterward Beijing said the nations agreed to a "model of multilateral exchanges based on equality and mutual understanding and support."

The Chinese foreign ministry said the Arab League supports China's activities in the South China Sea and that China and the Arab world are both "victims of U.S. hegemony."

"Previously, Trump moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, an insult to the Arab world," the ministry said.

State tabloid Global Times called on Arab support for China's Belt and Road project and for the opening of "a new chapter of relations between China and Arab states."

"The Arab side is highly consistent with China in the direction and philosophy of foreign policy, and stands ready to, together with China," the newspaper said.

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