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  • Gordon Dumoulin

A diplomatic tradition continues... China's New Year visit to Africa

Hardly a month after his appointment to China's Minister of Foreign Affairs, 秦刚 Qin Gang is continuing the diplomatic tradition by visiting Africa this week.

Since late Qian Qichen, former China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister visited Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania early January 1991, Africa has since then been the first overseas destination for any Chinese foreign minister early January 33 years in a row now.

Qin Gang was promoted from being China's Ambassador in the United States to Minister of Foreign Affairs end of last month. He is currently visiting Ethiopia, Gabon, Angola, Benin, Egypt, the African Union headquarters (Addis Ababa) as well as the headquarters of the League of Arab States (located in Cairo) from January 9-16.

𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗮 𝗴𝗼 𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝗯𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝗵𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆. Records of trading date back as far as 202 BC-220 AD. In 1071, an embassy arrived in China from an unidentified East African kingdom according Song Dynasty records.

Archaeological excavations at Mogadishu in the Ajuran Empire and Kilwa, Tanzania have recovered many coins from China, mostly from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Giraffes and zebras were exported to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) from Somalia.

Ming Dynasty admiral and explorer, Zheng He rounded the coast of Somalia and followed the coast down to the Mozambique Channel with his enormous fleet of 62 ships in the 15th century.

The 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗼-𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 kicked off in the early 1960’s when Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai made a ten-country tour in Africa December 1963 and January 1964.

Currently, there are many exciting and positive collaborations in economic development, infrastructure, health care, green development, agriculture and poverty reduction between Africa and China. Primarily through the 𝗙𝗢𝗖𝗔𝗖 "𝗙𝗼𝗿𝘂𝗺 𝗼𝗻 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗮-𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻" (中非合作论坛), a triennial forum bringing ministers and delegates from all African countries, the African Union (AU) and China together to discuss the cooperation and development objectives for the next 3 years in the 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗼-𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗰 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽. The last forum took place end of 2021 in Dakar, Senegal.

#china #china2023 #africa #africanunion #diplomacy

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