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Chinese premier wants stronger ties with Ethiopia
June 13, 2013, 2:26 pm


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (left) shakes hands with Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn [Xinhua]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has held talks with Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on boosting bilateral ties and improving investment opportunities.

Premier Li reviewed the smooth growth of China-Ethiopia relations since the two countries forged diplomatic relations in 1970.

The Ethiopian leader arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a four-day visit.

Both China and Ethiopia are committed to developing their economies and improving people’s livelihood, thus the two countries boast huge potential for cooperation, Li said.

Noting this year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-Ethiopia all-round cooperative partnership, Li said China would like to work with the African nation to bring bilateral cooperation to a new high.

The Chinese government supports firms with capabilities to work with Ethiopia in infrastructure, energy, resources, industrial parks, manufacturing and agriculture, Li said, urging the African country to continue to formulate preferential policies and improve the environment for investment.

The premier also called for stronger bilateral cooperation in culture, education, tourism and more communication on international and regional issues of importance, including reform of the United Nations Security Council, Somali and the Sudan-South Sudan issue.

Stressing Africa is a trustworthy friend and partner of China, Li reviewed the progress of cooperation between the country and the continent.

No strings are attached to China’s aid to Africa and Chinese firms and citizens are required to follow local laws and customs, Li said.

The premier called on African countries to protect the legitimate interests of Chinese firms and citizens and properly deal with problems through consultations.

China will continue to support Africa’s peace, development and integration, help the continent’s countries increase their development capabilities and make the China-Africa cooperation benefit the two peoples, Li said.

Li expected Ethiopia, the rotating chair of the African Union, to play a constructive role in boosting China-Africa relations.

Desalegn thanked China for its all-round support to Ethiopia in its fight against colonisation and in its development.

The Ethiopian prime minister also underscored Ethiopia’s commitment to deepening cooperation with China in all fields, welcoming firms to invest in the country and pledging to protect Chinese interests.

Hailing China’s important role in boosting African peace, stability and development, Desalegn said Ethiopia will make efforts for bigger development of Africa-China relations.

Desalegn will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.