Chinese President Xi Jinping (L, front) arrives in Kigali on July 22, 2018 for a state visit to Rwanda. Upon their arrival, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan were warmly received by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his wife Jeannette Kagame. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
KIGALI, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here on Sunday for a state visit to Rwanda, the first by a Chinese head of state to the African country.
Upon their arrival, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were warmly received by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his wife Jeannette Kagame.
At the airport, a group of local people in colorful clothes with distinctive ethnic features performed dances and beat drums to greet the honored Chinese guests.
In his cordial talks with Kagame, Xi sent sincere greetings and good wishes to the Rwandan government and the Rwandan people on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people.
Noting that he is the first Chinese head of state to pay a visit to Rwanda, Xi said he has felt the friendship of the Rwandan government and the people towards the Chinese people soon as he set foot on the country's soil.
Since the establishment of their diplomatic relations 47 years ago, China and Rwanda have treated each other as equals with sincerity and friendship, Xi said, adding that bilateral ties have undergone healthy and steady development.
Xi recalled that during Kagame's visit to China in March 2017, they had an in-depth exchange of views on advancing bilateral ties and cooperation of mutual benefits, adding that their consensus has seen comprehensive implementation.
The fact that the two heads of state have visited each other's country within slightly more than a year indicates the great importance both sides have attached to deepening their ties, Xi said.
The Chinese president said he expects to have deep discussions with Kagame, who is also the rotating chairman of the African Union, on China-Rwanda ties, China-Africa cooperation and other regional and international issues of common concern.
Xi said he believes the upcoming visit will deliver fruitful results so as to benefit the two peoples.
Kagame extended warm welcome to Xi on behalf of the Rwandan government and the people.
He believed Xi's visit to Rwanda will further push forward the two countries' friendly cooperation.
The Chinese president arrived in Kigali after finishing his state visit to Senegal.
Senegalese President Macky Sall and his wife Marieme saw Xi and his wife off at the airport.
Xi said upon departure that the visit to Senegal is very successful, efficient and pragmatic, and will further promote the development of China-Senegal ties.
Sall said Xi's visit is a complete success, and has achieved fruitful results. He also expressed the hope to meet with Xi on a frequent basis.
Rwanda is the third stop of Xi's first overseas trip after being re-elected Chinese president in March, which has already taken him to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Senegal.
Xi will also pay a state visit to South Africa where he is scheduled to attend the 10th BRICS summit, and visit Mauritius during a stopover.