In his third trip to the African continent, the Chinese president attends the BRICS summit and will encourage the creation of a "Sino-African common-destiny community".
On July 20, President Xi Jinping will travel to the African continent, where he will visit Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa, where he will attend the BRICS summit, between July 25th and 27th. This summit brings together the five largest emerging economies: South Africa, Brazil, China, India and Russia.
The Chinese leader's visit to those three African countries, in his third trip to the continent, is seen as an opportunity to strengthen Sino-African trade and economic relations. China is Africa's main trading partner, with the trade sector totaling USD 170 billion in 2017. Chinese exports reached USD 94.7 billion, while imports from Africa stood at USD 75, 2 billion, according to official figures from Beijing.
In the previous BRICS summit, in 2015, he ensured that China would provide a total of USD 60 billion to finance industrial projects, trade and small business start-ups in Africa, as well as credit funds. It is expected that, at this year's summit, Beijing will propose an even higher amount.
In addition to the economic and trade component, China has shown an interest in encouraging cooperation in security and defense, a field in which Africans face serious challenges.
This is President Xi's first trip to Africa since the launch of the new silk road initiative ("One Belt, One Road") in which, the eastern coast of the continent is particularly involved. As part of this initiative, the Chinese leader will meet in South Africa with Abdel Fattah Al Sissi, President of Egypt, one of the 70 countries covered by the "One Belt, One Road" initiative.
In addition to bilateral contacts with its counterparts in visited countries, as well as the BRICS meeting, President Xi's presence in Africa will also serve to move ahead with the preparations for another high-level meeting: the China-Africa summit, scheduled for September in Beijing. A meeting for which Xi set an ambitious goal in the message he adressed to the African Union summit, which took place on July 1st and 2nd in Mauritania. In that statement, Xi called for the "joint construction of an even more solid Sino-African common-destiny community, in order to achieve a level of cooperation from which everyone will benefit."
Beijing is promoting "a new level of global strategic cooperation," the Chinese president said in his adress.