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The new silk route passes through Africa

· Chinese President Xi Jinping in mission on the continent ·

After confirmation of his second presidential mandate and the possibility of leading the country for life

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, is in Africa, strengthening economic-military cooperation with these countries that are experiencing steady growth. This marks yet another phase of the business competition with the United States who, by contrast, show little interest in Africa. This is Xi Jinping’s first trip abroad since the confirmation of his second presidential mandate, with which he may end up leading this country for the rest of his life. For about the past 20 years, China has sought to develop ever closer relationships with the Continent and, since 2009, Peking has become Africa’s primary trading partner, surpassing its former colonial powers. Every year, trade between China and Africa increases by about twenty percent.

Today, Africa is an integral part of China’s main business plan. During his journey, Xi Jinping will promote One Belt, One Road--the new silk route -- a project launched in May 2017, aimed at strengthening Chinese trade and improving the connections between Europe and Asia, involving Africa. As a matter of fact, China is investing millions to give new life to this ancient trade route.

Wednesday, Xi will be in Johannesburg, in South Africa, where he will participate in the BRICS summit (the acronym for the five emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

After a brief stopover in Dakar, where he met the Senegalese President, Macky Sall, Xi traveled to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. “The point of the visit is to develop and consolidate bilateral relations between the two nations and strengthen economic bonds with Africa. The summit will offer, among other things, the opportunity for Xi and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to have a face-to-face meeting, following up on a visit that took place last month in Qingdao, China, where the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was meeting.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 15, 2018

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