NEW YORK -- One week after assuming the Chinese presidency in March 2013, Xi Jinping embarked on his maiden foreign visit. After a brief stopover in Russia, the new leader arrived in Africa. The three-nation tour of the continent began in Tanzania.
Beijing had high hopes for the East African nation. Facing the Indian Ocean, state planners believed that the country could serve as the main gateway to China -- where resources could be brought from across the continent and loaded onto ships headed for the mainland.