Chairman of the National People’s Congress of China (NPC) and speaker of the congress, Li Zhanshu, confirmed that his country is determined to strengthen its diplomatic relations and continue its multi-faceted development support for Ethiopia.
On an official state visit in Ethiopia since Wednesday, the chairman met and conferred with different officials of the Ethiopian government including the president, the prime minister and speakers of both the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) and House of Federation (HoF) over bilateral and mutual interest.
Apart from this, the chairman has also signed an agreement of loan and humanitarian assistance.
In this regard, the chairman met with President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) on Thursday to discuss bilateral and regional issues. According to Meles Alem, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the chairman confirmed that China gives priority to the bilateral ties with Ethiopia and needs Ethiopia to continue its pivotal role in Sino-Africa partnership.
“China is desirous for Ethiopia to further promote its leading role in shoring-up the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in general and its strategic partnership with China in particular,” The spokesperson added.
President Mulatu in his part also expressed Ethiopia’s clear development policy and demonstrative development support from countries like China that played a significant role in the country’s endeavor to achieve its development agendas.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) also received the chairman and conferred on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concerns which focused on elevating the existing comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
The chairman has also handed over an official letter of invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Prime Minister Abiy and according to the Office of the Prime Minister, the Premier accepted the invitation.
Similarly, the government of China has provided USD 250 million in loans for developmental works in Ethiopia.
The loan agreement was signed on Thursday, between the Finance and Economic Cooperation State Minister Admasu Nebebe and Tan Jian, the Ambassador of China to Ethiopia.
The loan will be dispersed to alleviate the shortage of water in the capital of Tigray Regional State, Mekele city. The overall goal of the project, which is being undertaken by CGGC, is to improve the production and living standards of local residents by providing reliable, adequate and clean water. Moreover, a humanitarian assistance agreement worth of CNY 100 million (approximately USD 16 million) was also signed between the two countries.
With over USD four billion in capital, currently, there are around 624 investment project activities undertaken by different Chinese companies. This has created a permanent and temporary job opportunity for more than 100,000 Ethiopians.
The relation between Ethiopia and the Peoples’ Republic of China was established in 1970. Ethiopia has an embassy in Beijing and the Peoples’ Republic of China also has an embassy in Addis Ababa.