The relations between China and Eritrea are an important part in China’s relations with African countries. China and Eritrea established diplomatic relations right on the day of May 24, 1993, when the State of Eritrea was founded. Ever since then, despite the vicissitude in international situation, our bilateral relations have been developing smoothly and healthily, with frequent exchange of friendly visits, and deepening of cooperation in all areas. Leaders of our two countries have kept close contacts and communications.
China is Eritrea’s largest trading partner and the two countries have fruitful cooperation in the areas of agriculture, mining, infrastructure construction, culture, education, health and people to people exchanges.
Eritrea is a country with a long history and civilization and has breath-taking and beautiful natural sceneries. Multi-ethnic groups with different religious beliefs live with each other in the country in harmony.
The Eritrean people live a peaceful and alive life. Since independence and as one of the youngest countries in the world, Eritrea has made tremendous progress and achievements in its nation building endeavors. Eritrea is country with great potential for development with its rich resources, natural produce and welleducated young talents.
As a young and new developing country with huge potential for development, there is a huge potential for cooperation between China and Eritrea in the fields of industry, mining, agriculture, fishing, tourism, aviation, telecommunications and other infrastructures.
China is willing to join hands with Eritrea to further strengthen the all dimensional bilateral cooperation and continually explore new areas of cooperation.
I, the Ambassador of China to Eritrea, am confident that there is a bright prospect for our future bilateral cooperation and this will surely benefit our two countries and peoples to a larger extent, and will at the same time make greater contributions to the cause of peace and development in Africa and the world at large.
Latest Development of the China-Eritrean Relations
The Chinese Vice-foreign Minister Zhang Ming visited Eritrea in January, and co-signed with Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed a visa exemption agreement for the holders of diplomatic and service passports, providing convenience for the exchange of official visits between our two countries. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues from the Foreign Ministry and the Immigration Office of Eritrea for their hard work on the signing and implementation of this agreement. Mr. Hagos Gebrehiwet, Head of PFDJ Economic Affairs Department and Mr.Berhane Habtemariam, Minister of Fiance, visited China in March. These official visits at high level between our two countries have added a new impetus to the development of our bilateral relations.
The Chinese government aided project of College of Science, Eritrean Institute of Technology has been formally launched at the end of last year, and the construction of this project is moving forward smoothly. This is the largest aid project that the Chinese government has implemented in Eritrea since the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries.
The Solar Power Drip Irrigation Project in Southern Region donated by Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China was completed by Xinjiang Tianye Company early this year. The project uses advanced technologies and yields good results. The project will play an exemplary role in exploring modern agriculture and increasing agricultural production of Eritrea. Three schools aided by the Chinese government in Asmara, Mendefera and Gindae respectively have improved local school conditions and are playing an important role for local educational causes. The Chinese companies and workers have not only completed in constructing these projects with good quality, but also helped training the local workers, and gained respect and friendship from the Eritrea people.
Health sector is an important part in the field of pragmatic cooperation. Since sending its first medical team to Eritrea in September 1997, China has successively dispatched 8 medical teams of 150 person times to Eritrea as of today. The Chinese medical doctors have been working here for 18 years, and have treated and cured numerous patients and kept pain and suffering away from them. A female interpreter of Chinese Medical Team gave her life in a traffic accident, and was buried in Eritrea forever. she will be forever missed and remembered by both Chinese and Eritrean peoples. Many Eritrean medical doctors and patients have become good friends of the Chinese medical doctors. The eighth Chinese Medical Team to Eritrea have accomplished its mission in July, and the ninth medical team will take its turn and continue to care for and contribute to the development of China-Eritrea relations. China and Eritrea will continue to strengthen the cooperation in medical and health area.
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We have ripped fruitful results in the fields of education and culture. The Chinese Ministry of Education has trained Eritrean talents through offering Chinese government scholarships. In addition, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce also provides Eritrea with a number of short-term training and degree education opportunities in China. Talents are the core element of national development. The Eritreans who have gone to China for studying and training have made positive contributions to national construction of Eritrea and China-Eritrea friendship after returning home upon completion of their study and training. Since the Confucius Institute at National Commission for Higher Education was established in June of 2013, Chinese language program has been developing very rapidly, many Eritrean students registered to study Chinese language and made good progress in mastering the language. The Confucius Institute held successfully two sessions of the “Chinese Bridge Competition” in the past two years. In this process, many returned Eritrean students from China helped and participated in the activities organized by the Confucius Institute using their talents of music and Chinese language, contributed a lot to the development and growth of the Confucius Institute.
There are more cultural exchanges to talk about. For example, since 2011 the Chinese Embassy has participated in the Book Fair held in Asmara Expo every year, and donated books to Eritrean readers. In April, the Chinese State Administration of Press and Publication, Radio, Film and Television signed agreement with Eri-TV, donating films and television programs. We hope these programs will be enjoyed by the Eritrean viewers and enhance the understanding between our two peoples.Three Eritrean painters will attend the 6th Beijing International Art Biennale in this autumn with their art works.
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Ambassador Qiu Xuejun arrived in Eritrea on December 7th, 2014 and presented the copy of his credentials to Foreign Minister Osman Salih on the 9th. On December 16th, 2014, Ambasssador Qiu Xuejun met President Isaias Afwerki and started his official duty of promoting China-Eritrea friendship and cooperation. This shows how the Eritrean government sees its reation with China.