On January 28, 2012, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, held talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Ato Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa.
During the meeting, Jia first conveyed the warm greetings and good wishes of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Meles and extended New Year wishes to the Ethiopian people. Jia said that Ethiopia is a sincere friend and important partner of China in Africa. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 42 years ago, bilateral relations have been consolidated and developed. In recent years, the China-Ethiopia comprehensive cooperative partnership has achieved strong growth with its connotation enriched continuously. The two sides have maintained close communication on major issues and supported each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns. Economic and trade cooperation has yielded fruitful results and both sides have realized mutual benefit and win-win situation. China has become Ethiopia's largest trading partner and a main source of foreign investment in Ethiopia, he said, adding that cultural exchanges and contacts at local levels have been flourishing and mutual understanding between both peoples has deepened.
"China has always attached great importance to the China- Ethiopia relationship and is willing to promote the comprehensive cooperative partnership to a new level," said Jia, who put forward four proposals to boost cooperation between the two countries. Firstly, the two sides should maintain the high-level exchange and enhance political mutual trust. Both sides should make use of high-level visits, major international conferences and other bilateral and multilateral occasions to have timely exchange of views. Both sides should further keep closer inter-party exchanges to learn from each other. Secondly, the two sides should deepen pragmatic cooperation to achieve mutual development. China will import more goods from Ethiopia and encourage Chinese enterprises with good fame and quality to invest in Ethiopia and participate in infrastructure construction there. China is ready to carry out human resources cooperation with Ethiopia. Thirdly, the two sides should increase people-to-people and cultural exchanges and lay a solid ground for friendship. Both sides should promote exchanges between their art groups, non-governmental organizations, media, think tanks and academic institutions to enhance the traditional friendship. Fourthly, the two sides should strengthen multilateral cooperation to promote peace and development, and to improve coordination on major international issues such as international financial system reform and climate change. He also urged both sides to enhance coordination on Sudan, Somalia and other regional hot issues and make joint efforts to push the international political and economic order towards a more just and rational direction and achieve peace and development in Africa.
Jia also highly appreciated the role Ethiopia played in promotion of unity, stability and development of Africa, adding that China will make joint efforts with Ethiopia to push forward the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership to a new level.
Meles asked Jia to convey his cordial greetings to President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. He said Jia's visit to Ethiopia during the Chinese traditional Spring Festival shows brotherhood between the two countries. Ethiopia-China relations have been developing very well and the governments, political parties and people of the two countries have kept close contacts, he said, adding that bilateral cooperation has been conducted in an in-depth manner. He also expressed the gratitude for China's contribution in promoting China-Ethiopia ties and supporting Ethiopia's social and economic development. The signing of new cooperation documents between the two sides will further promote bilateral economic and trade relations. Ethiopia would like to take this opportunity to strengthen friendly cooperation and exchange with China. Ethiopia also hopes to expand contacts with China on state governance and cultural exchanges and plans to send more technicians to China for training. Ethiopia welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country and is willing to continue to maintain communication and coordination with China in major international and regional issues, Meles added.
Meles said that Africa is committed to rehabilitation and development and needs to strengthen cooperation with China. The newly completed African Union Conference and Office Complex, built with China's assistance, is a symbol of China-Africa friendship. Ethiopia would like to work with China to push forward Africa-China relations.
After the meeting, Jia and Meles attended the signing ceremony of China-Ethiopia economic and trade cooperation agreement.