Qin Gang meets Ethiopian counterpart amid intensive visits of African leaders to China
Published: May 25, 2023 10:17 PM Updated: May 26, 2023 01:01 AM
Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen Photo: VCG

Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen Photo: VCG

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang held talks with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen in Beijing on Thursday. The meeting came amid intensive visits of African leaders to China, which experts said demonstrates their confidence and support in China-Africa cooperation.    

Qin said that the two countries have always supported and helped each other, setting a good example of solidarity, cooperation, and win-win development among developing countries, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

He said China is ready to work with Ethiopia to continue to firmly support each other on issues regarding each other's core interests and major concerns.

As Ethiopia is at a crucial juncture of consolidating peace and focusing on development, China firmly supports Ethiopia's peace process and stands ready to deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields to help with the country's reconstruction, development, and revitalization, Qin said.

China has already delivered two batches of emergency food aid to countries in the Horn of Africa, and is considering providing a new batch to help meet their urgent needs, he said.

Demeke expressed his appreciation for China's assistance to Ethiopia. He said that Ethiopia will continue to do its utmost to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in the country.

China's achievements in modernization are inspirational and will encourage African countries to speed up their independent development, Demeke added. 

Demeke is visiting China from May 24 to 28. President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi is also paying a state visit to China between May 24 and 29. Earlier this month, President Isaias Afwerki of the State of Eritrea wrapped up a four-day visit to China and in April, President of the Gabonese Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba also paid a visit to China. 

The growing list of African leaders who have come to China in recent times clearly sends a signal that African countries are optimistic about China-Africa cooperation, observers pointed out. 

The level of mutual trust and economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa are both very high, which means the two sides' relationship cannot be easily affected by some third parties' attempts to sow discord, He Wenping, director of the African Studies Section at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. She also noted that China and Africa are highly complementary.   

The Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will be held in June 29-July 2 this year in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. 

He Wenping noted that China and Africa are also continuing to explore new fields of cooperation such as bilateral cross-border trade and e-commerce. Cooperation between the two sides in the digital economy is also booming, He noted. 

Public health is also an important area for future China-Africa cooperation as malaria and AIDS still pose a serious challenge to Africa's public health, after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared to be no longer a "public health emergency of international concern," He said.  

Held in June 2019 and September 2021, the first two sessions of the biennial Expo have yielded fruitful results, including the signing of 216 projects with a total investment of $43.02 billion, according to the commerce ministry.