Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has said his country and Ethiopia needed to elevate bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.
According to him, Ethiopia was crucial to China’s cooperation with the continent at large hence the need to upgrade ties to reflect the “strategic aspect and the high level of political mutual trust of the bilateral relations”.
Xi was speaking during a meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who was in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for May 14 and 15.
The Chinese leader also urged the two countries to promote cooperation in such areas as connectivity, production capacity, trade and economy, people-to-people exchanges, as well as aviation.
Hailemariam on his part said Ethiopia and China have achieved significant improvements in cooperation in areas including trade and economy, investment, industrial capacity and infrastructure construction.
He had earlier met with his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, on Friday during which meeting they discussed issues of mutual interest to both countries. Li said China is willing to consolidate political mutual trust with Ethiopia and suggested Ethiopia consider China-developed passenger jets for its civil aviation development.
The two prime ministers later witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation documents covering environmental protection and tourism.
The Ethiopian PM described the Belt and Road Initiative is a farsighted initiative with global implications, which will promote connectivity and cooperation in trade and investment. Ethiopia will actively join in the construction of the Belt and Road, he said.