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International relations

Xi off to make friends in Africa and assert control at home

Chinese leader aims to recruit allies in trade war with US

Senegalese President Macky Sall, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping arrive at a new national arena in Dakar for its opening ceremony on July 22.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Africa on a rare 10-day tour, courting allies during a trade showdown against the U.S. and trying to demonstrate his rule's stability in the face of rumored dissatisfaction at home.

Xi's July 19-28 trip is his first overseas since being re-elected as president in March. His stops include the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa and the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. While in Johannesburg, Xi will attend the five-nation BRICS summit -- with Brazil, Russia and India as well as his hosts.

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