Johannesburg: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Johannesburg on Monday evening (local time) to attend the 15th BRICS Summit and to pay a state visit to South Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and senior South African officials received Xi at the airport, Global Times reported.

Ramaphosa, along with South Africa's International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor, and Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, greeted Xi at the OR Tambo International Airport of Johannesburg, Xinhua reported.

According to Xinhua, Xi said upon touchdown that he is very glad to visit South Africa again and looks forward to having in-depth exchanges of views with Ramaphosa on deepening China-South Africa relations and issues of common interest.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also left for South Africa earlier on Tuesday to participate in the 15th BRICS Summit at the invitation of the country's president Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.

BRICS is a grouping of the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The BRICS summit will be held from August 22-24. This will be PM Modi's third visit to South Africa. The trip marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between India and South Africa.

This year's BRICS is under the presidency of South Africa. The theme of this year's summit is: "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for mutually accelerated growth, sustainable development and inclusive multilateralism".

This will be the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, in a special briefing ahead of PM Modi's visit to South Africa and Greece, said, "As I mentioned in my remarks, the host country South Africa has invited a large number of guest countries, besides of course the BRICS members who would be present there."

Foreign Secretary Kwatra stated that a business delegation from India is also travelling to the country to attend the Business Tracks meetings.

Sharing further details about the PM Modi's trip, Kwatra said, "For the 15th BRICS Summit, a business delegation from India is also travelling to South Africa to attend the Business Tracks meetings and also the meetings of the BRICS Business Council, BRICS Women Business Alliance and the BRICS Business Forum."

"The Prime Minister's schedule in terms of bilateral meetings with those leaders who would be present in South Africa is still being developed," he added.

During his visit to South Africa, PM Modi will also participate in a special event 'BRICS – Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue' being organised after the BRICS Summit, which will include other nations invited by South Africa, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced in a press release. He will also hold bilateral meetings with some of the leaders present in Johannesburg.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the 15th BRICS Summit virtually while the Russian delegation to South Africa will be led by foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. He will also participate in a special event with the theme “Brics – Africa outreach and Brics plus dialogue”.

This is being organised after the BRICS Summit and will include dozens of countries, mostly from the African continent, invited by South Africa.

"After completing his engagements in Johannesburg, PM Modi will travel to Greece for an official visit on 25th August at the invitation of PM of Greece," Kwatra said.