Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday urged China and Ethiopia to elevate bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.
President Xi made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Desalegn is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for May 14 and 15.
Xi praised the cooperation between China and Ethiopia, saying the relationship between the two countries plays a leading role in China-Africa cooperation.
He proposed the upgrading of bilateral ties to reflect the “strategic aspect and the high level of political mutual trust of the bilateral relations”.
During the meeting, President Xi 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.
He said China welcomes Ethiopia’s participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and supports its role as a bridge between the Belt and Road Initiative and Africa’s development.
“China is willing to deepen all-round cooperation with Ethiopia, a highly influential nation in Africa, in the process of implementing the outcomes of the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and building the Belt and Road,” President Xi said.
Desalegn on his part also praised the relations between the two countries, saying they had achieved significant improvements in cooperation in areas including trade and economy, investment, industrial capacity and infrastructure construction.
“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.