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China's President In Africa For Trade, Defense Talks

Chinese President Xi Jinping walks with Senegal's President Macky Sall after arriving at the Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport, at the start of his visit to Dakar, Senegal July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Mikal McAllister

Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Africa for the first leg of a four-nation tour that will take in Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius.

Xi arrived in Senegal on July 21 for talks expected to focus on deepening economic and military ties.

After stopping in Rwanda, Xi will travel to South Africa for a summit of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) that begins on July 25.

China is Africa's largest trading partner. In 2017, Beijing opened a military base in Djibouti, on the horn of Africa. Earlier this month, China hosted dozens of African military officials for the first-ever China-Africa defense forum.

During his Africa tour, Xi will also be promoting its massive Belt and Road project, which seeks to link China to the world through investments in ports, roads, railways, power plants, and economic zones.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP