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Chinese President Hails Ties with Africa on Tanzania Visit

China's President Xi Jinping (L) and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete (R) attend official talks on bilateral issues at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Mar. 24, 2013
Chinese President Xi Jinping has hailed China's relationship with African countries on his first visit to the continent and the first trip outside his homeland since assuming office, earlier this year.

Xi is in Tanzania, where he met Sunday with his counterpart, President Jakaya Kikwete. After talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several trade, cultural and development accords.

A key emphasis of his trip is to tell African leaders China "will intensify not weaken" its relationship to the continent.

Xi arrived in Tanzania from Moscow, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin says he was grateful the Chinese leader made Russia his first foreign destination as president and called Russian-Chinese relations "a paramount factor of world politics."

The Chinese leader later flies on to Durban, South Africa, to attend the fifth summit of the BRICS grouping of emerging countries on March 26 and 27. The bloc is made up by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. He will also attend a retreat with African regional leaders, likely to focus on economic and trade issues with the leaders of the resource-rich continent.