Ethio-China strategic partnership producing fruits

Tested diplomatic endeavors are the key features that Ethiopia has been reflecting for decades. The country has established win-win diplomatic partnerships with every nation across the globe that craves for a mutual interest. Regarding its economic, political or people to people partnerships and Ethiopia does everything to keep the momentum of its relations.

In recent times, Ethiopia has been maintaining its course regarding its diplomatic partnership with multiple nations. The best example can be the partnership between Ethiopia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China that keeps getting better and better. The two counterparts have played their role in order to sustain their diplomatic togetherness by defending their national interest without neglecting or meddling in the issue of the other.

Back in October 2023, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) was paying an official visit to Beijing, the two countries announced their long-rooted economic and political partnership would be even better in the years to come. The two counterparts have elevated their partnerships to a new zenith and announced that the partnership has become an “All-Weather Strategic Cooperation Partnership”.

According to a report, during the Ethiopia and China joint investment and trade cooperation that held in Addis Ababa in May 2022, Demeke Mekonnen, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also noted that, China has proven to be Ethiopia’s most trusted partner and that its support continues to sustain Ethiopia’s economic growth trajectory.

The two parties have been working together regarding the economic, political and people to people relations in the past many years. China has been one of the very first economic partners of Ethiopia by supporting the latter in technology and knowledge and skill transformations.

As China introduced its global approach through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the nation holds the notion of financing and building infrastructures throughout its partners and developing world. Such approach lets Ethiopia manage to realize its dreams of building mega projects and infrastructures. China has been supporting Ethiopia’s mega projects so as to help the latter achieve its long dream of becoming a middle-income country. China put its hands in the construction of local and trans-boundary railways like the Ethiop-Djibouti railways.

In addition, reports stated that the terminal expansion project of the Ethiopian Airlines was also financed by China’s Export-Import Bank. China was also a key player when Ethiopia started to construct Industrial Parks across the country to realize Special Economic Zones in different parts of Ethiopia. Again, in many of the industrial parks, Chinese companies have been involving especially in the manufacturing sector such as textile and leather industries.

Ethiopia’s application and latter on inclusion in the BRICS bloc has strengthen the two nations partnership more than ever as the former will be able to enjoy the economic benefits from the bloc. China also accepted Ethiopia’s move towards the bloc and ready to foster the togetherness.

Speaking of political diplomacy in the international arena, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has stood with Ethiopia in many global scenarios when Ethiopia has become the epicenter of issues in front of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Specifically, the two permanent members of the UNSC, China and Russia have managed be the sole supporters and to stand with Ethiopia in the time of the war in the northern part. Not only have those, the two aforementioned permanent members of the UNSC also backed Ethiopia when Egypt brought the issue of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

China was also there to appreciate and support the government and people of Ethiopia when the two main fighting parties of Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict signed an Agreement on the permanent Cessation of Hostilities (CoHA) in Pretoria, South Africa. Besides, China has stretched its hands to provide humanitarian assistance to the people in need and support the government in the course of reconstruction. China has also agreed to alleviate Ethiopia’s external debt burden.

Similarly, based on the two nations’ all weather strategic partnership, Ethiopia has also expressed its support to the ‘One China’ policy. According to a previous press release by the Chinese embassy, “The Ethiopian Government reaffirms its adherence to the one-China principle, recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate government representing the whole of the nation, and supports all efforts made by China to achieve national reunification.”

In people-to-people relation between the two nations, China has become one of the main destinations for Ethiopian students. China’s government has been creating different opportunities to provide multiple scholarships for Ethiopian students so that Ethiopians can go to China and grasp the knowledge and skills from the people of China.

In recent reports, Minister of Foreign Affairs Taye Atskeselassie held discussion with China’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Ambassador Xue Bing. The discussion covered various issues of common interest, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Minister Taye said the two countries’ relations reached the level of an all-weather strategic partnership in a number of fields. He reaffirmed the aspirations and commitment of Ethiopian government to deepening the courtiers’ relations on bilateral and multilateral arenas.

On his part, China’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Ambassador Xue Bing stressed that, Ethiopia is the first African country that entered into an all-weather partnership with China and a model for the rest of the continent. During the discussion the Special Envoy underscored the role Ethiopia plays for the success of the upcoming China-Horn of Africa Peace Conference and Forum of China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting which will be held the coming June and September in Beijing.

By the same token, the idea entertained by the ministry of Foreign Affairs is also accepted by the current incumbent, Prosperity Party. According to the reports, Public and International Relations Division Head of the Party Adisu Arega said that, the party will strengthen its strategic partnership with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

A high-level PP delegation led by Adisu Arega arrived in Beijing to solidify the strategic partnership between the two ruling parties. The head told a local media that the PP delegation will discuss with the leadership of CCP at various levels on ways of further strengthening partnership and fraternity between the parties.

According to him, the CCP will share experiences to PP delegation among others, on steps taken to ensure China’s prosperity, the long journey it has traveled to achieve development without compromising its multicultural identity, and the positive outcomes of its non-interference policy in the internal affairs of other countries.

Ethiopia and China have established a long-standing diplomatic relationship, and PP has been making utmost efforts to elevate this partnership to a new level of cooperation and mutual benefit, Adisu added. He further noted that, visit of the PP delegation to China demonstrates that the previously agreed-upon capacity-building initiatives and experience-sharing programs with CCU are properly implemented.



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