Eritrea eyes all-round cooperation with China
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki shakes hands with Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi in Asmara, Eritrea, Jan. 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Yang Zhen)
ASMARA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Eritrea hopes to learn from China's development experiences and strengthen cooperation with China in various fields, said Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki on Wednesday.
Afwerki made the remarks when meeting with the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Asmara, the country's capital.
Afwerki asked Wang to convey his sincere greetings to President Xi Jinping.
Afwerki congratulated the Communist Party of China (CPC) on its centenary, saying that over the past century, the CPC has adapted socialism to the Chinese context and continuously carried it forward, demonstrating the strong vitality of the socialist system.
China has not only made brilliant achievements in its own national development and economic development, but also made great contributions to the cause of human progress by opposing hegemonism and building a just and equal global order, he said.
Strengthening partnership with China is crucial to Africa's development, and cooperation with China is of great significance to the 1.3 billion people on the African continent, said Afwerki, who hopes China to play a bigger role in supporting Africa's development.
Afwerki said Eritrean-China friendship enjoys a solid foundation and Eritrea always firmly supports China in safeguarding sovereignty and independence and respects China's legitimate position.
Afwerki said he was very pleased to have decided with President Xi Jinping to establish the bilateral relationship as a strategic partnership.
Eritrea has drawn up a roadmap for cooperation with China and looks forward to learning from China's development experience to conduct more dynamic cooperation, especially in infrastructure, mineral resources, agriculture and human resources, said Afwerki.
Wang first conveyed cordial greetings and best wishes from President Xi Jinping for Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki. He said that Eritrea is the first stop of his opening visit as Chinese Foreign Minister in the new year, which fully demonstrates the importance China attaches to the Sino-Eritrean relations and traditional friendship between the two countries.
The two heads of state decided to elevate China-Eritrea relations to a strategic partnership, opening up broader prospects for bilateral cooperation, said Wang.
China would like to take this opportunity to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and push bilateral cooperation across the board to a new high, said Wang.
China stands ready to work with Eritrea to turn the traditional political friendship between the two countries into a driving force for economic cooperation, transform Eritrea's rich natural resources into its development advantage and help Eritrea enhance its capacity for independent development and expedite its industrialization process, said Wang.
Afwerki refuted the so-called Chinese "debt trap" rhetoric, stressing that China has never interfered in other countries' internal affairs and is an indispensable and true development partner of Africa. He hoped that China can play a bigger role in Africa's peace and development process.
The two sides also agreed to work together to implement the outcomes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and boost China-Eritrea practical cooperation in all areas.
Wang also held talks and signed a joint statement with Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh on Wednesday.