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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds a Briefing for Foreign and Chinese Media on President Xi Jinping's State Visit to Russia,Tanzania, South Africa, the Republic of Congo and Attendance at the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting

On March 20, 2013, at a briefing held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for foreign and Chinese media, Vice Foreign Ministers Zhai Jun and Cheng Guoping and Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu, in their respective responsibilities, introduced the background, major activities, significance and expected results of President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo as well as his attendance at the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting. After the introduction session, they took questions from Chinese and foreign journalists.

I. On President Xi's state visit to Russia

Cheng Guoping stressed that China and Russia are each other's major and most important strategic partners of coordination. Currently, the two countries enjoy mature and sound political relations. With a solid foundation and huge potential, bilateral cooperation in all fields holds out a bright prospect. China-Russia relations have entered a new phase in which the two countries provide major development opportunities to each other and see each other as priority cooperation partners. Xi's visit to Russia shortly after assuming the office of the Chinese President is a testimony to the value the new Chinese central leadership places on its relations with Russia and to the high level and special nature of bilateral ties. Under new circumstances, furthering the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia is the shared aspiration of the two peoples; it is also what China's new leadership is expected to do. Cheng voiced his belief that Xi's upcoming visit to Russia will promote bilateral cooperation in all fields and inject strong impetus into the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries.

Cheng said that, during his visit to Russia, President Xi will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders will jointly sign and issue a joint statement, spelling out directions for future development of Sino-Russian ties, key cooperation areas and their stance on a series of major international and regional issues. They will also endorse the Guidelines for the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation for the next four years between 2013 and 2016, and attend the opening ceremony of the Chinese Tourism Year in Russia. Xi's schedule in Russia also includes a number of other activities: meetings with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Chairwoman of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Matviyenko, Chairman of Russian State Duma Sergei Naryshkin, and Russian friends from all walks of life, a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), attendance at the opening ceremony of the memorial hall of the Sixth CPC National Congress, a visit to the Russian Ministry of Defense, and meetings with representatives of Russian sinologists, Russian students learning the Chinese language and the Russian media. In addition, the two countries will sign agreements covering cooperation in trade, energy, investment, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and environmental protection.

II. On President Xi's state visit to Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo

Zhai Jun told the journalists that China and Africa enjoy a profound traditional friendship and their cooperation in various fields has delivered fruitful results. The two sides regard each other as important development opportunities and both have strong willingness to further strengthen cooperation. Xi's upcoming visit to Africa carries great significance in that it will enhance solidarity and cooperation among developing countries and elevate China-Africa relations to a higher level.

Zhai said that China and Tanzania are all-weather friends. Since the two countries established diplomatic relations 49 years ago, bilateral friendly cooperation has always maintained forward momentum, yielding fruitful results in areas including trade, cultural exchanges, education and public health. During his visit to Tanzania, President Xi will meet Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and President of Zanzibar Ali Mohamed Shein, deliver a speech at the Nyerere International Convention Center, and lay a wreath at the cemetery for Chinese experts in Tanzania. In addition, the two sides will issue a joint statement and sign bilateral cooperation agreements in the fields of trade and cultural exchanges.

When it comes to China-South Africa relations, Zhai stated that over the past 15 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, the bilateral relationship has achieved historic leaps from partnership to strategic partnership and then to comprehensive strategic partnership. With close contacts between high-ranking officials, the political mutual trust between China and South Africa has deepened and their pragmatic cooperation in trade, people-to-people exchanges, education, science and technology, and tourism has yielded tangible results. During his visit to South Africa, President Xi will meet with President Jacob Zuma and Vice President Petrus Kgalema Mothlanthe. The two sides will issue a joint statement and sign agreements on trade and educational cooperation.

When it comes to President Xi's visit to the Republic of Congo, Zhai said that in recent years China-Congo ties have been growing in a comprehensive and rapid manner, with ever increasing political mutual trust, fruitful results in pragmatic cooperation and expanding people-to-people exchanges. During his visit to Congo, President Xi will meet President Denis Sassou Nguesso, deliver a speech to the country's parliament, and attend the opening ceremony of the library China has built for the Marien Ngouabi University, the unveiling ceremony of the China Pavilion, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the China-Congo Friendship Hospital. The two sides will also issue a joint statement and sign agreements on trade and financial cooperation.

III. On President Xi's attendance at the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting

Ma Zhaoxu said that the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting, featuring a theme of "BRICS and AFRICA: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization," is scheduled for March 26-27, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. At the meeting, President Xi will exchange views with other participating BRICS leaders over strengthening partnership among BRICS countries, furthering BRICS-Africa cooperation and a host of other international and regional issues of common concern. The meeting will endorse the Durban Declaration. During his attendance at the meeting, President Xi will participate in the BRICS leaders talks, a dialogue between BRICS leaders and African leaders, and a breakfast meeting with representatives from the business circle. In addition, President Xi will meet, respectively, with other BRICS leaders and leaders of African countries.

Ma pointed out that the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting occurs at a time when the international situation is going through profound and complex changes, world economic recovery is afflicted with a great number of uncertainties, and BRICS countries are playing a larger role in international affairs. As a supporter of the BRICS cooperation mechanism, China has participated in BRICS cooperation in an active, consistent and constructive fashion and contributed to the preparations for the Durban summit. China hopes that through the Durban meeting, the BRICS countries will send to the international community a positive message of unity, cooperation and win-win outcomes. In addition, China expects three concrete results from the meeting: First, BRICS countries will, in the spirit of inclusiveness, mutual learning, cooperation and win-win outcome, strengthen their coordination and cooperation in international politics, economy, finance, trade and development, and work together to promote world peace and development, push for the democratization of international relations, improve global economic governance and contribute to worldwide economic growth. Second, BRICS countries will strengthen their dialogue and cooperation in various fields, fully develop the potential for pragmatic cooperation, come up with concrete cooperation projects, and make positive progress in the launching of a BRICS Development Bank, a contingency joint foreign reserve arrangement, a BRICS business council and a BRICS think-tank council, as well as further progress in cooperation in trade, science and technology, and people-to-people exchanges. Third, through talks with leaders of African countries, BRICS countries will strengthen dialogues and cooperation with African countries and contribute to the development of African countries and the developing world as a whole, so that emerging markets and developing countries can have a greater representation and voice in international affairs.


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