China’s foreign minister will visit Africa

The tradition of the Chinese Foreign Minister's annual first trip to Africa has highlighted China's stance on consolidating friendship with Africa.

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gestures as he arrives to deliver a keynote speech at a seminar on China's diplomacy, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China January 9, 2024. REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo

China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, is scheduled to embark on a trip to Africa, including visits to Egypt, Tunisia, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire from January 13 to 18, as announced by China’s foreign ministry on Thursday.

This visit will signify the 34th consecutive year in which the foreign minister has chosen Africa as the destination for their initial overseas trip of the year.

Additionally, Wang Yi is set to visit Brazil and Jamaica from January 18 to 22.

Analysts characterize the China-Africa cooperation as a mutually beneficial relationship, yielding advantages for both parties. However, controversies have arisen, particularly regarding the perception of a “debt trap” and China’s practice of “palace diplomacy” involving substantial funding for large-scale infrastructure projects in African nations to secure influence.

Amid efforts by the United States and European Union to rebuild ties with Africa, coinciding with the expanding sphere of influence by Russia, China has been consolidating its position on the continent. These strategic maneuvers underscore the heightened importance of cultivating relations with Africa during a period of escalating global tensions.

France, Russia, the United States, and China are all actively engaging with African countries, seeking diplomatic support in international forums such as the United Nations, while also pursuing economic and political alliances.

The tradition of the Chinese Foreign Minister’s annual first trip to Africa has highlighted China’s stance on consolidating friendship with Africa. The Chinese Minister said this choice sets an example of what can truly be called “the establishment of a community with a shared future”.

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