Date: Wednesday, 05 January 2022
China will firmly support Eritrea's efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, independence and dignity and oppose interference by external forces in its internal affairs and unilateral sanctions against it, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.
Wang made the remarks during his talks with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki. Eritrea is the first stop of Wang's three-nation tour in Africa. He will also travel to Kenya and Comoros.
Isaias hailed China's remarkable achievements in economic development and its commitment to opposing hegemony and building a fair and equal world order. He said China's success has brought hope to mankind and inspiration to developing countries, adding that he expects China to play a greater role in supporting Africa's development.
Isaias said Eritrea always firmly supports China's efforts to defend its sovereignty and independence and respects China's legitimate stance. He said the country has made a roadmap to promote cooperation with China and looks forward to deepening bilateral cooperation in fields such as infrastructure, mineral resources, agriculture and human resources.
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki (R) shakes hands with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Asmara, Eritrea, January 5, 2022. /Chinese Foreign Ministry
Describing Isaias as a "sincere, old friend" of the Chinese people, Wang said China stands ready to make joint efforts with Eritrea to transform their traditional political friendship into an impetus for economic cooperation. China is willing to help Eritrea raise its capacity for independent development and accelerate industrialization, he said.
The two sides exchanged views on the situation in the Horn of Africa. Isaias said Eritrea resolutely opposes moves by external forces to stir up social divisions and ethnic conflicts in the region. He said the key to resolving the conflict is to ensure the independence and solidarity of countries in the region and encourage them to jointly strive for stability and economic development.
He also refuted allegations of China's engagement in "debt-trap diplomacy," stressing that China never interferes in other countries' internal affairs, calling China an "indispensable" development partner of Africa.
Wang said some major countries outside the region have used the Horn of Africa as an arena for geopolitical games in recent years, causing chaos and conflicts in the region. He said it is necessary for countries in the region to discuss how to realize peace and security, unleash the potential for development and improve governance capabilities.
As a "sincere friend" and "reliable partner" of the countries in the Horn of Africa, China is willing to play a constructive role in the process, he told the Eritrean president.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh show a joint statement on consolidating bilateral strategic partnership in Asmara, Eritrea, January 5, 2022. /Chinese Foreign Ministry
Wang also met with Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh on Wednesday. The two diplomats issued a joint statement on consolidating bilateral strategic partnership.
According to the joint statement, the two sides agreed to uphold the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom for all mankind. They also oppose hegemonic interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of democracy and human rights.