Felix Tshisekedi, the president of the mineral-rich Democratic Republic of the Congo, will visit China from May 24 to 29 and is anticipated to meet President Xi Jinping to discuss and sign several significant trade treaties.
A meeting would open the path for the two countries to formally review and finalize a $6 billion infrastructure-for-minerals agreement with Chinese investors. The Chinese foreign ministry announced the visit on Monday.
Tshisekedi authorized his cabinet on May 19 to proceed with negotiations with Chinese counterparts after the DRC government and other stakeholders “consolidated their position,” according to a DRC government statement.
He briefed cabinet members that a task team investigating the deal had presented its findings, paving the way for conversations with Chinese partners to begin in the coming days.
During the visit to China, the two heads of state will hold talks and attend the signing ceremony of cooperation documents together, the Chinese foreign ministry said.
“The Democratic Republic of Congo is an important country in Africa, and the friendship between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo has a long history,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing.
“Both sides have always supported each other on issues related to each other’s core interests and major concerns. In recent years, political mutual trust between China and the Democratic Republic of Congo has been continuously deepening, and practical cooperation has yielded fruitful results,” Mao added.
Tshisekedi will also meet Premier Li Qiang and Zhao Leji, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s largest producer of battery material cobalt.