Forward Together

The Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Li Zhanshu (centre-left), met with President Mulatu Teshome (PhD) (centre) and Hirut Zemene, state minister for Foreign Affairs (centre-right), at the National Palace. This was Li’s first official visit since he assumed the position of chairman of the Committee last March.

Li also met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and visited the recently operational Addis Abeba-Djibouti railway line, for which China provided the majority of the funding in the form of a loan. The project was contracted to Chinese firms as well.

Ethiopia has one of the closest economic and trade relations with China. The Asian country is one of the top investors in the country, the number one export destination and its firms are in charge of mega projects, such as the ongoing Bole International Airport Passenger Terminal. Over 737.8 million dollars were received from China in the form of credit last year too.

Not everyone believes that such relations are healthy, but instead leads to dependence, posing a threat to sovereignty. Most famously, it was the former State Secretary Rex Tillerson that warned African nations that they ought to carefully consider the sorts of agreements they are entering into with China.

The ties between the two countries do not seem to be slackening anytime soon though, with Mulatu stating that Ethiopia attaches a special appreciation to its relation with China. It was during Li’s visit that a new loan agreement worth a quarter of a billion dollars was signed between the two countries.

Published on May 12,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 941]



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