“Strong China-Eritrea ties part of keeping peace in the Horn of Africa.” – President Xi
Chinese President Xi Jinping held a grand ceremony to welcome Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki who is on a state visit to China. The elaborate ceremony was held in Beijing at the square outside the east entrance of the Great Hall of the People that includes a 21-Gun Salute to his honour.
Xi said China views and develops bilateral relations with Eritrea from a strategic and long-term perspective.
In this regard, “China is ready to work with Eritrea to advance mutually beneficial cooperation and achieve common development through various frameworks and platforms, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa,” Xi said during their meeting.
China also appreciates Eritrea’s long-standing adherence to an independent foreign policy, firmly supports Eritrea in exploring a development path suited to its national conditions, firmly supports Eritrea in safeguarding its sovereignty, security, and development interests, and opposes external interference in Eritrea’s internal affairs and the imposition of unilateral sanctions, the Chinese president asserts to his Eritrean counterpart.
The Chinese government supports Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Eritrea, and stands ready to strengthen cooperation on infrastructure construction, telecommunications, agriculture, mining, and fisheries, and will continue to send medical teams and senior agricultural experts to Eritrea, Xi said.
President Xi also thanked Eritrea for providing support and assistance to China during its recent evacuation of Chinese citizens from Sudan, which again demonstrated the profound friendship between the two countries. He called for more measures to enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
President Isaias on his part spoke of his special bond with China that has lasted for over half a century, saying that the Eritrean people will never forget the support the Chinese people provided for Eritrea’s independence and liberation struggle.
Eritrea hopes to strengthen cooperation with China and believes that the Eritrea-China strategic partnership will help Eritrea achieve national economic and social development, President Isaias said.
President Xi Jinping:
“You’re a senior African leader and also an old friend of the Chinese people. We talked on the way just now about your time in China. You have a deep affection on China. I extend a warm welcome to your visit. China and Eritrea enjoy profound traditional friendship. The two countries established diplomatic relations on the day Eritrea was founded. On May 24 this year, we will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. There is a Chinese saying, “A person should be independent and steadfast at the age of thirty”. We should take this opportunity to push for better development of bilateral relations.”
“Your Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Allow me first to express my profound gratitude for the kind invitation that Your Excellency extended to me. The highest impact that the support of the People’s Republic of China extended to the struggle for the Eritrean people for independence. Even though Eritrea and China established formal diplomatic relations in 1993, their practical strategic ties of friendship and cooperation had begun in earnest 60 years. In this context, let me extend our profound gratitude to the communist party of China.”