Chinese FM to begin new year with trips to Africa, continues 31-year tradition
By Global TimesPublished: Dec 30, 2021 07:05 PM Updated: Dec 30, 2021 07:10 PM
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: VCG
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Eritrea, Kenya and Comoros from January 4 to 7, 2022, continuing a 31-year tradition of Chinese foreign ministers choosing to visit Africa as their first overseas trips in a new year, China's Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.
Wang's visit will be the 32nd year in a row that a Chinese foreign minister will start their year's diplomatic activities with a visit to Africa. China's diplomatic tradition fully demonstrates the deep friendship between China and Africa that has withstood the test of time and grown even stronger, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during the routine press briefing.
The tradition shows China's firm support for development and revitalization of Africa through joint efforts and self-improvement, which the international community including African friends speaks highly of, Zhao said.
In 2021, Wang Yi started his diplomatic trips with a visit to five African countries — Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles.
Zhao said that China is the biggest developing country and Africa is a continent concentrated with developing countries. Both sides are faced with the common goals of safeguarding sovereignty, opposing hegemony and realizing development. The two are not only comrades-in-arms in the fight against hegemony, but also partners in development and revitalization and important forces in defending international fairness and justice, Zhao said.
No matter how the international situation changes, no matter how the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, such challenges will not change the willingness and determination of China and Africa to maintain friendly exchanges, strengthen strategic communications, and firmly support each other, Zhao said.
In November's 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China's top leader pledged to provide an additional 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the African continent.
Also, under the "2035 vision for China-Africa cooperation," China will work with African countries in nine aspects — health, poverty alleviation and benefitting farmers, trade promotion, investment drive, digital innovation, green development, capacity building, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.
After visiting the three African countries, Wang will travel to the Maldives and Sri Lanka.