President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are set to meet for private bilateral talks after a welcoming ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Union Buildings offices in Pretoria for a State visit in which the two will seek to strengthen relations between their countries ahead of a summit of the BRICS group.

Ramaphosa and Xi were received by a guard of honour and the South African leader introduced his Chinese counterpart to members of his government ahead of the bilateral meeting, which the Presidency said was taking place within the context of strengthening political, economic and social ties.

Xi arrived at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Monday night, the first BRICS leader to arrive for the group's 10th summit to run on July 25-27 in the commercial hub of Johannesburg.

The Chinese president earlier made a stop in Rwanda for a two-day state visit and signed at least 12 bilateral memorandums to strengthen cooperation, including visa's with his counterpart Paul Kagame.

African News Agency/ANA