Xi visited Chinese experts cemetery in Tanzania

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, accompanied by his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, on Monday visited a cemetery burying 69 Chinese experts who lost their lives when they were on assistance missions to Tanzania over four decades ago.

Standing in front of a memorial, the two heads of state paid a silent tribute to the dead.

More than 40 years ago, over 50,000 Chinese experts, technicians, and workers came to Africa. Together, they worked with the people of Tanzania and completed the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA), Xi said, adding that more than 60 Chinese died in the process.

They interpreted the great spirit of internationalism with their lives, and, just as the TAZARA, they will be remembered by both the Chinese and Tanzanians, he said.

Today, China and Tanzania are working together to open up a beautiful future for their comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said, adding that the precious traditional friendship between China and Africa should be cherished.

He also said the two sides should work to make China-Africa cooperation even more fruitful.

For his part, Kikwete said the Chinese experts buried here are regarded as heros by the people of Tanzania and Zambia, adding their spirit will encourage the Tanzanians and Zambians to carry on the friendly cooperation between China and Africa.

Tanzania is the second leg of Xi's first overseas trip after assuming the presidency. He had already visited Russia.

Later on Monday, the Chinese leader arrived in South Africa for a state visit. In the country, he will also attend the fifth BRICS summit in the port city of Durban on March 26-27, the first to be held on the African continent.

Xi will wrap up his maiden overseas trip as China's top leader in the Republic of the Congo.

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