|Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki Meets with Wang Yi|
On January 5, 2022 local time, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki met in Asmara with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was visiting Eritrea upon invitation. The two sides held a long and friendly talk.
Isaias asked Wang Yi to convey his sincere greetings to President Xi Jinping. Isaias extended congratulations on the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), saying that over the past century, the CPC has adapted socialism to Chinese conditions and continuously carried it forward, demonstrating the strong vitality of the socialist system. Having been in an unbreakable bond with China since 55 years ago, I always cherish a deep affection for China and have witnessed with my own eyes the development and growth of New China. China has not only made brilliant achievements in its own national construction and economic development, but also made great contributions to the cause of human progress by opposing hegemonism and building a global order featuring justice and equity. China's global influence is increasingly growing. This is due to the outstanding leadership of the CPC and the perseverance of the Chinese people. China's success brings hope to mankind and inspiration to other developing countries. Strengthening partnership with China is crucial to Africa's realization of development, and cooperation with China by joint efforts is of great significance to the 1.3 billion people on the African continent. I expect China to play a greater role in supporting Africa's development.
Isaias said, Eritrea and China enjoy a solid foundation of friendship rooted in the principles and concepts of mutual respect and non-interference. Eritrea always firmly supports China in safeguarding sovereignty and independence, and respects China's legitimate position. I am very pleased to have decided with President Xi Jinping to establish bilateral relations 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 deepening cooperation in the areas such as infrastructure, mineral resources, agriculture and human resources.
Wang Yi first conveyed President Xi Jinping's cordial greetings and best wishes to Isaias, and thanked Isaias for his understanding of and support for the CPC and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Wang Yi introduced the milestone significance of the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, the important resolutions adopted and ten aspects of the historical experience. Saying that the Party has established Comrade Xi Jinping's core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and defined the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Wang Yi stressed that the two moves are of decisive significance for China to realize national rejuvenation. He said that China stands ready to step up exchanges of governance experience with Eritrea for mutual learning and common development.
Wang Yi said, Mr. President is a sincere old friend of the Chinese people. Eritrea is the first stop of Chinese Foreign Minister's opening visit this year, which fully demonstrates the importance China attaches to China-Eritrea relations and traditional friendship. The decision of the two heads of state to elevate China-Eritrea relations to a strategic partnership has opened up broader prospects for bilateral cooperation. China stands ready to take this as an opportunity to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and push bilateral cooperation across the board to a new level. China will firmly support Eritrea in safeguarding sovereignty, independence and national dignity, opposing external interference and unilateral sanctions, and exploring a development path suited to its national conditions and supported by its people. China is ready to work with Eritrea to turn the traditional political friendship between the two countries into a driving force for economic cooperation, turn Eritrea's rich natural resources into its development advantage, and help Eritrea enhance its capacity for independent development and speed up its industrialization process. China encourages competent Chinese enterprises to take an active part in Eritrea's development and construction.
The two sides exchanged views on the situation in the Horn of Africa. Isaias said, Eritrea firmly opposes the creation of social divisions and ethnic conflicts in the region by external forces. The key to resolving conflicts in Africa is to ensure that countries in the region can retain independence, unity and cooperation and that they can jointly commit themselves to stability and economic development, thus creating favorable conditions for regional peace and development. Isaias 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 expected China to play a bigger role in Africa's peace and development process.
Wang Yi said, in recent years, some major countries outside the region have used the Horn of Africa as an arena for geopolitical games, causing turbulence and frequent conflicts, seriously undermining regional peace and stability, and slowing regional development and revitalization. Under the current circumstances, countries in the Horn of Africa need to seriously discuss how to realize regional peace and security, unleash development potential and enhance governance capacity. In this process, China, as a sincere friend and reliable partner of countries in the Horn of Africa, stands ready to play a constructive role in this regard.
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 various fields.
On the same day, Wang Yi held talks with Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed, and signed the Joint Statement by Foreign Ministers of China and Eritrea.