China's president Xi Jinping. Picture: Getty Images
When Xi Jinping takes over as China's president, his first visit will be to South Africa, the international relations department said on Thursday.
"That says a lot about the relationship between China and South Africa," spokesman Clayson Monyela said.
"This will be his first visit to a foreign country after taking over."
Jinping's state visit will be on March 26. The following day he is scheduled to attend a Brics summit in Durban. Brics is an acronym for the grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.