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On China’s FM visit to Ethiopia

Chinese _ Ethiopia _ Diplomacy
Chinse and Ethiopian Flags

Emjedo Farda

The recent meeting on July 21, 2023 between Mr. Wang Yi, the top Chinese Diplomat and director of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Foreign Affairs Commission Office, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa signifies the ongoing and likely strengthening relationship between China and Ethiopia. Based on past Sino-Ethiopian relations and the latest visit of Mr. Wang Yi, some things that can be discerned are:

  • Unannounced Visit: The fact that Mr. Wang Yi’s visit was not announced earlier suggests that the discussions and matters being addressed might have been sensitive or required a degree of privacy. It’s possible that the visit was intended to convey important messages and commitments directly from the Chinese leadership to the Ethiopian government.
  • Message from President Xi Jinping: The message that Mr. Wang Yi brought from President Xi Jinping indicates that China places importance on its relationship with Ethiopia. Diplomatic visits of high-ranking officials often involve discussions on bilateral cooperation, trade, investments, and regional matters.
  • Strategic Cooperation: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s statement on Facebook about Ethiopia’s commitment to enhancing strategic cooperation with China indicates that both countries are keen on furthering their collaboration in various sectors, including economics, infrastructure, and potentially even political matters.
  • Growing Economic Ties: The historical context you provided highlights the significant economic ties between China and Ethiopia, with billions of dollars in investment and trade volume. Chinese companies have played a substantial role in Ethiopia’s construction and manufacturing sectors, providing employment opportunities for a large number of Ethiopians.
  • China’s Influence in the Horn of Africa: The reference to Eritrean President’s visit to China and China’s growing influence in the Horn of Africa underscores China’s interest in the region. China’s investment in infrastructure and development projects, as well as its military presence in Djibouti, are indicative of its broader geopolitical strategy.
  • Geostrategic Implications: The presence of multiple foreign military bases, including China’s in Djibouti, suggests a competition for influence in the region among various global powers. China’s engagement in the region could be driven by a desire to secure trade routes, protect its investments, and establish a geopolitical foothold.

In conclusion, the unannounced visit of Mr. Wang Yi to Ethiopia and his meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed likely signal a continuation of the strong economic and political ties between China and Ethiopia. The commitment to enhancing strategic cooperation and the message from President Xi Jinping emphasize China’s interest in maintaining and possibly expanding its influence in the Horn of Africa. As always, the exact details of the discussions and agreements made during the visit would require official statements or additional information.

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of  


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