China announces foreign minister’s New Year visits to Africa

In keeping with its annual tradition, China’s foreign minister will make his first visits to the African continent at the start of the new year.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi will begin his journey in Eritrea on January 4. He’ll continue on to Kenya and then the Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros during official visits that will last through January 7. Maldives and Sri Lanka will be his next stops.

It will be the 32nd year in which China’s top foreign diplomat affirms Beijing’s relationship with African nations.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Thursday that this year’s trips will build on the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in November in Senegal.

“Not long ago, President Xi Jinping called for joint efforts to promote and carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era,” said Zhao.

At the FOCAC meeting, China committed to a number of new projects and investments, including the delivery of another 1 billion COVID vaccine doses to the African continent in the coming year.

“This fully demonstrates the high importance China attaches to China-Africa relations, the growing profound friendship between China and Africa, and China’s firm support for Africa’s seeking strength through unity, development and revitalization,” Zhao said.

He added that neither “the changing international landscape” nor the pandemic can weaken the will and determination of China and Africa together.

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