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Xi's foreign tour fruitful: experts


08:03, April 01, 2013

BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese experts on international relations said on Sunday that President Xi Jinping's first foreign trip as head of state has strengthened relations with China's neighbors, Africa and emerging economies.

Xi returned to Beijing on Sunday after state visits to Russia and three African countries between March 22 and 30.

Xi's tour further solidifies the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and Sino-African cooperation in economic and social fields, and the visits promote institutional collaboration among emerging economies, said Prof. Zhu Feng of the School of International Studies with the Peking University.

During the first leg of Xi's trip in Russia, China's biggest neighbor, the two sides signed cooperation agreements, dubbed the "contracts of the century" because they are enormous in value and cover a long period of time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told media on Sunday.

Wang said that choosing Russia as the first stop of Xi's tour has shown the high level and distinctiveness of China-Russia relations.

Xi's Russia visit has "strategic significance," according to Gong Li, deputy director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies with the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

During the African part of the trip, Xi visited Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of the Congo.

"Africa is the main dependent strength of China's diplomacy," Gong said, adding Xi's African trip enhances friendship with emerging African countries and strengthens the foothold of China's diplomacy.

Zhu said an important signal sent from Xi's speech in Africa was that Sino-African cooperation has turned to an all-round one including more social and cultural exchanges, from the old partnership driven by the economy and natural resources.

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