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 finan