Chinese President, Xi Jinping on Monday August 21, 2023, flew to South Africa to attend the 15th BRICS summit and co-chair the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue, Chinese state media reported.
Whilst on the state visit to South Africa, Xi will also review bilateral ties.
Ahead of his visit, the Chinese president wrote an article published by South African media, discussing the bilateral and multilateral relations between the two nations.
“Our strategic mutual trust has been deepening steadily. We give each other firm support on issues involving our respective core interests and major concerns and maintain coordination on major international and regional issues. We work together to practice true multilateralism and push for the building of a more just and equitable international order,” Xi wrote.
The BRICS summit will be held in Johannesburg where South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will host Xi, Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Aug. 22 to 24.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is facing an international arrest warrant over alleged war crimes in Ukraine, is not attending the meeting.
The BRICS currently comprises five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – and expansion of the group is expected to be high on the agenda.
According to China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC), Beijing’s trade with BRICS countries soared 19.1% in the first seven months of the current year, totaling around 2.38 trillion yuan (about $326.85 billion).
This accounts for 10.1% of China’s total foreign trade value during the January-July period.
Xi will also co-chair with Ramaphosa the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue in the South African capital. This would be Xi’s second trip out of China this year after he paid a state visit to Russia in March.
China’s trade with African nations surged last year to $282 billion, with Beijing importing goods and services from the continent for around $117.51 billion.
South Africa is the biggest exporter among African nations to China.