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Foreign Minister Wang Yi to pay official visit to Africa

By Wang Qingyun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-03 20:30

Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay official visits to five African countries to help implement important agreements President Xi Jinping and African leaders have reached and to further promote China-Africa cooperation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang announced.

Wang will visit Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo and Nigeria from Saturday to next Thursday, Geng said in Beijing on Tuesday. This is the foreign minister's first trip to foreign countries in 2017.

"The base of China's foreign policies lies in keeping strengthening ties with various developing countries, including African countries," Geng said.

He added that the foreign minister choosing Africa as the first destination abroad at the beginning of the year has been a tradition for more than two decades.

The year 2016 has witnessed a large number of important early successes China and Africa gained while implementing the work that had been obtained during the summit on China-Africa cooperation held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in December 2015, Geng said.

One of the accomplishments, the spokesman said, is a Chinese-constructed railway connecting Ethiopia and Djibouti, which was opened in October 2016.

According to Geng, China's non-financial direct investment in Africa from January to September last year increased by 31 percent compared to the same time the year before, and between the conclusion of the Johannesburg summit and the end of July last year, the two sides had signed 245 deals involving more than $50 billion.

The year 2017 will be when China-Africa cooperation gets fully promoted and upgraded, Geng said.

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