BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhua): Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday held talks with President Isaias Afwerki of the State of Eritrea in Beijing.
Hailing China and Eritrea’s profound traditional friendship, Xi said the two countries will mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations on May 24 and that over the past 30 years, China and Eritrea have always trusted and supported each other.
China views and develops bilateral relations with Eritrea from a strategic and long-term perspective, and is a reliable friend of Eritrea, Xi said.
In face of the current international situation, which is full of instability and uncertainty, a sound China-Eritrea relationship not only serves the common and long-term interests of the two countries, but is also of great significance to regional peace and international fairness and justice, Xi said, pledging to advance China’s strategic partnership with Eritrea.
China appreciates Eritrea’s long-standing adherence to an independent foreign policy, firmly supports Eritrea in exploring a development path suited to its national conditions, firmly supports Eritrea in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, and opposes external interference in Eritrea’s internal affairs and the imposition of unilateral sanctions, the Chinese president said.
Xi said China is ready to share experience with Eritrea on national governance, jointly oppose unilateralism and bullying, and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and other developing countries.
“China is ready to work with Eritrea to advance mutually beneficial cooperation and achieve common development through various frameworks and platforms, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa,” Xi said.
China supports Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Eritrea, and stands ready to strengthen cooperation on infrastructure construction, telecommunications, agriculture, mining and fisheries, and will continue to send medical teams and senior agricultural experts to Eritrea, Xi said.
He thanked Eritrea for providing support and assistance to China during its recent evacuation of Chinese citizens in Sudan, which again demonstrated the profound friendship between the two countries. He called for more measures to enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Xi said that no matter how the situation develops, mutual respect, understanding, support and help have always been the key features of China-Africa friendships. He noted that China-Africa cooperation plays a leading role in South-South cooperation and in international cooperation with Africa.
“Africa is a promising land. Under the new circumstances, it is more important than ever for China and Africa to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to overcome difficulties together,” Xi said.
China is ready to work with Africa to carry forward traditional friendships, consolidate strategic mutual trust, create new opportunities for Africa with China’s high-quality development and modernization, deepen practical cooperation with Africa, and build an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future, Xi said.
Afwerki spoke of his special bond with China that has lasted for over half a century, saying that the Eritrean people will never forget the precious support the Chinese people provided for Eritrea’s independence and liberation.
Afwerki said that China is a great country. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the country has grown into a world power, making outstanding contributions to peace and development of humanity, he said.
He noted that China has always held the moral high ground, put forward its own solutions to global challenges, upheld international fairness and justice, and encouraged developing countries to seek independence and development.
Afwerki said that any attempt to contain or suppress China’s development is bound to fail. The evolution of international order is at a critical stage, and African countries still face hegemonism and unfair and unjust treatment. The international community expects and believes that China will make greater contributions to human development and progress, and to international fairness and justice.
Eritrea hopes to strengthen cooperation with China and believes that the Eritrea-China strategic partnership will help Eritrea achieve national economic and social development, Afwerki said.
Prior to the talks, Xi held a welcome ceremony for Afwerki at the square outside the east entrance of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
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