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S. African Presidency welcomes Xi's visit

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-25 02:43

JOHANNESBURG - The South African government welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit, the Presidency said on Sunday.

"President Jacob Zuma will receive President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping for a state visit to the Republic of South Africa on Tuesday," said the Presidency in a statement.

S. African Presidency welcomes Xi's visit

They will hold talks at the Presidency in the administrative capital of Pretoria with an expectation of signing agreements and a memorandum of understanding, the statement added.

On Tuesday afternoon, South Africa's Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will pay a courtesy call on the Chinese president, according to the statement.

On March 17, President Zuma congratulated Xi on taking over as China's new president, which was announced on March 14.

"South Africa is looking forward to consolidating its strong relations with the PRC under the leadership of President Xi Jinping," the official Bua news agency said on Sunday.

China is South Africa's biggest trading partner, with bilateral trade standing at about $22 billion in 2012.

The two presidents will join the three other leaders of the BRICS grouping at its fifth summit set for March 26-27 in the southeastern port city of Durban. It will be the first time for South Africa to host the BRICS summit since it officially became a membership of the group on Dec 24 2010.

BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It represents 43 percent of the world population, accounts for approximately one fifth of the global GDP and contributes 11 percent of foreign direct investment.

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