Africa: China-Africa Ties – Chinese Foreign Minister Begins Africa Tour

Wang Yi’s visit takes him to Eritrea, Kenya and The Comoros, and then to The Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Continuing a 32-year tradition of Chinese foreign ministers, State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, is visiting the African nations of Eritrea, Kenya and The Comoros from January 4-7, 2021. Afterward he will visit The Maldives and Sri Lanka, China Daily reports.

“The three African countries have a traditional friendship with China,” said Liu Qinghai, a professor at the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, noting that Eritrea built its diplomatic ties with China on the first day of its independence on May 24, 1993 and the two countries have made a series of pragmatic cooperation in the past decades.

“Since November 2020, in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which borders Eritrea, a civil war has been ongoing, and the conflict is still far from ending, which has caused a serious humanitarian crisis, and Eritrea has been affected. So Wang’s visit will also contribute to peace building and conflict mediation for the region, and help the countries affected by the war solve their urgent problems,” Liu told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The second leg of Wang’s Africa trip is Kenya, “which is a key partner of China in East Africa and also an example of China-Africa cooperation to jointly build the Belt and Road,” said Liu, noting that Kenya is also actively participating in conflict mediation in Ethiopia.

Wang Yiwei, Director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has benefited many African countries. In Kenya, the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway is playing a key role in boosting regional interconnectivity, and the successful experiences could be expanded to more countries in the region.