On March 22, 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping left Beijing for state visits to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, and the Republic of Congo, kicking off his first overseas trip as China’s head of state.
Russia was the first stop of Xi’s four-state tour. During their meeting in the Kremlin, the Chinese president and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, vowed to enhance comprehensive strategic cooperation.
After the talks, the two leaders signed a joint statement to deepen the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, and witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation documents.
During his visit to Russia, Chinese President Xi also addressed the opening ceremony of the “Tourism Year of China” in Moscow on the evening of March 22, an event aiming to foster tourism ties and cultural exchange between the two countries. The following day, Xi delivered a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, expounding China’s position on current international situations, China’s foreign policy and its aim to enhance Sino-Russian relations.
Following his Russia trip, President Xi visited Tanzania, South Africa, and the Republic of Congo. Liu Guijin, a former Chinese special representative on African affairs, described Xi’s visit to the three African nations as “a trip of friendship and inheritance” with a goal of broadening cooperation and mapping out the future. Xi also attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit held from March 26 to 27 in Durban, South Africa.
Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies, remarked that Xi’s four-state tour, which spans Asia, Europe and Africa, demonstrated China’s comprehensive diplomatic strategy. “The visit involves multiple factors and various fields, such as a world power and a neighboring country, developing nations and multilateral cooperation,” he said. “It fully embodies China’s comprehensive foreign policy of peace.”