China President Xi Jinping hails ties with Africa

Chinese leader Xi Jinping with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
Image caption Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete have signed various trade agreements

New President Xi Jinping has hailed the strength of China's ties with African nations.

Mr Xi described Africa as "a continent of hope and promise".

He was speaking in Tanzania - the second country he has visited since taking power 11 days ago.

Addressing leaders at a conference hall built by China in Dar es Salaam, he said trade between China and Africa topped $200bn (£130bn) last year.

Mr Xi and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete signed 16 different trade agreements including improvements to Tanzania's hospitals and ports, and the building of a Chinese cultural centre.

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The Chinese leader is expected to arrive in South Africa on Tuesday to take part in a summit of the emerging economies, known as Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

He will wrap up his African tour with a visit to Congo-Brazzaville.

Outlining China's policy on Africa, Mr Xi pledged to help the continent achieve "independent and sustainable development"

He said Beijing is "not only interested in shipping out raw materials but wants a relationship of equals that would help the country develop", Reuters reports.

China has become one of Africa's biggest trading partners in recent years, largely based on the trade in mineral products, including oil.

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