Eritrea, China Agree to Further Boost Bilateral Ties

ADDIS ABABA – Foreign Ministers of Eritrea and China said the two countries have agreed to increase their cooperation in various sectors of mutual interest.

Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, undertook a two-day-long official visit to Asmara starting Jan 4, at the invitation of his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh.

During the visit, Yi held bilateral talks with Eritrean Foreign Minister Saleh and President Isaias Afwerki, respectively.

“Both sides had in-depth exchanges of views on various bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest in a cordial and candid manner,” reads a joint statement the FMs issued Wednesday.

It also says the two sides “are encouraged by the confirmation of further consolidation and development of the Strategic Partnership by the two Heads of State”.

Recently, Eritrea joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – President of China Xi Jinping’s trade and infrastructure development plan.

Asmara’s cooperation is expected to cement China’s foothold in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.

During Yi’s visit, “both sides agreed to actively conduct practical cooperation, under the framework of the Strategic Partnership and Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, in various sectors of mutual interest,” reads the statement.

Eritrea and China also agreed to uphold the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom for all mankind”, and opposed “hegemonic interferences in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of democracy and human rights”.

Beijing stands against any unilateral sanctions on Eritrea, while Asmara reaffirms adherence to the one-China principle, according to the joint statement.