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Tajik President Starts State Visit To China Ahead Of BRICS Summit

Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Beijing in September 2015.

DUSHANBE -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has left Dushanbe for China for a state visit ahead of a summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) group of emerging economies.

Several cabinet members are accompanying Rahmon on the visit, which ends on September 5.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is to chair the BRICS summit in the southeastern city of Xiamen on September 3-5.

Chinese media reported that Rahmon was invited by Xi and was expected to attend a summit-related Dialogue of Emerging Markets and Developing Countries.

On August 23, Tajik lawmakers ratified a memorandum on cooperation under which China is to help build new buildings for the Tajik parliament and government in Dushanbe.

Tajikistan's economy and trade minister, Nematullo Hikmatullozoda, said that according to the memorandum, China agreed to allocate 1.5 billion yuan (some $230 million) for the construction project.

China is vying with Russia and other countries for influence in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

With reporting by Xinhua and Asia-Plus