Beijing: Set to get elected next week as China's new President, Xi Jinping will hold his first bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of BRICS summit to be held later this month in South Africa.
Xi will attend the fifth summit of BRICS at Durban which will give impetus to strengthening partnership among the five countries improving the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) mechanism to boost cooperation among the five member bloc, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told a press conference here today.
Xi, who was elected as General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and military Chief in November last, is due to succeed Hu Jintao next week at the end of China's Parliament session.
His meeting in Durban with Singh was expected to provide the first direct platform for talks between the China's new leaders with Indian leadership.
Xi has already assured New Delhi in his letter to Singh last month that China would pay "great importance" to improve relations with India as the bilateral cooperation has brought "great benefit" to people of both the countries.
Their meeting is also important as Singh is due to visit China this year besides Defence Minister A K Antony and a host of other officials as part of annual dialogue process.
Most of the annual bilateral meetings, including the planned military exercises are due to be held in China this year.
The summit is due to be held in Durban on March 26-27.
Xi, who is expected to lead China for the ten years, has chosen to visit Russia on his first tour abroad as President signifying a new close and strategic relationship emerging between the two countries.
Analysts say the new emerging China-Russia close ties may have an adverse impact on close India-Russia ties as Beijing looks to buy some of the most modern weapons from Moscow.
Yang said China will take the opportunity of new president's visit to Russia to inject a strong impetus to its comprehensive and strategic partnership with Russia.
"China and Russia are each other's biggest neighbour and see each other as a significant opportunity for development and a priority partner for cooperation," Yang said.
"We would like to joint hands with Russia, and take the opportunity presented by the upcoming visit of China's new president to Russia to inject a strong impetus to the Sino-Russian comprehensive and strategic partnership," said Yang.
Besides visiting Russia, South Africa, Xi will visit Tanzania and the Republic of Congo.
About the BRICS summit, Yang said the mechanism has become an important force in countering the international financial crisis, driving world economic growth, improving the governance of the global economy, and promoting democracy in international relations.
BRICS is an economic bloc representing five of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
About Xi's visit to other African countries, Yang said the new president's visit to Africa fully demonstrated China's commitment to growing its relations with African countries.
"China and African countries are good brothers, good friends and good partners," he said.
Yang said he hoped all parties can view the cooperation between China and African countries in an objective manner, and respect the African friends in choosing cooperative partners by themselves.
Many countries are advancing their cooperation with Africa, and China welcomes such cooperation, he said.
Strategic partnership between China and Africa has developed fast over the years, and the two sides are actively implementing the follow-up actions to the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Yang called for more exchanges, less suspicions and accusations toward cooperation between China and African countries, and jointly promoting peace, stability and development in Africa.
First Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013, 11:50