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Xi expands cooperation on visits

By Wu Jiao and Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)

08:09, April 01, 2013

Foreign minister hails trips to African countries and Russia

President Xi Jinping's visits to Russia and African nations continued the traditional friendship and expanded "win-win cooperation" between China and these countries, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday as the president returned to Beijing.

Xi's 10-day, maiden foreign tour as China's new head of state took him to four countries, where he met heads of state and dignitaries, witnessed the signing of more than 70 cooperation agreements and attended the Fifth BRICS Summit.

Wang said the visits opened a new chapter in China's diplomacy under the new leadership, and demonstrated the nation's independent and peaceful foreign policy.

In Russia

Xi's visit to Russia, the first stop of his tour, enhanced mutual trust and expanded cooperation between the two countries, the foreign minister said.

Xi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spent eight hours together in meetings and exchanges that could be characterized as frank, practical and congenial, said Wang.

Feng Yujun, head of Russian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the visit elevated Sino-Russian ties.

"The enhanced cooperation between the two countries is important for maintaining regional and world peace, especially when the international order is undergoing restructuring," Feng said.

In Moscow, Xi visited the Russian defense ministry and the command center for the Russian armed forces, the first foreign head of state to make such a tour. The two countries signed 32 cooperation agreements, dubbed the "contracts of the century" because of their enormous value and the fact they cover a long period of time, Wang said.

They will try to transform a trade structure that focuses heavily on energy and resources into a new model that also focuses on sectors such as manufacturing, high-tech and aerospace, said Wang.

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