China's President Xi visits Central Asia ahead of G-20
BEIJING (AFP) - China's President Xi Jinping headed to Central Asia on Tuesday ahead of a G-20 summit, state-run media reported, in visits expected to see energy deals and talks on slowing growth.
Mr Xi will start in Turkmenistan before meeting Group of 20 world leaders in St Petersburg on Thursday, then stop by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the official Xinhua news agency and China Daily newspaper said.
The central Asian countries were once all part of the Soviet Union, but China - which has huge demand for energy - is increasingly influential in the area.
In Central Asia, Mr Xi is set to sign agreements on oil, natural gas, transport and investment, the China Daily cited vice-minister of foreign affairs Cheng Guoping as saying.