Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met in Addis Ababa Tuesday with Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, and the two agreed to further consolidate bilateral ties and cooperation.
Noting that Mulatu once studied and worked in China, Li said China highly appreciates the president's long-standing, important contribution to the development of China-Ethiopia and China-Africa relations.
The China-Ethiopia relationship has now advanced into a new pattern featuring all-dimensional and multi-tiered cooperation with inter-governmental, inter-party and people-to-people exchanges functioning as pillars, and political, economic and trade, and cultural cooperation serving as the mainstay, noted the premier.
Li said, during his stay, he has reached important consensus with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on developing bilateral ties and cooperation. He has also met Ethiopian people from all walks of life and felt their sincere friendship toward the Chinese people, he said.
Developing infrastructure and promoting opening-up are the two "wheels" that lead developing countries to economic take-off, he said, adding that China is willing to cement its traditional friendship with Ethiopia, expand cooperation in the manufacturing industry, and infrastructure construction including railway and road building, and intensify collaboration in finance and the establishment of industrial parks, so as to bring bilateral friendly cooperative relationship to a new stage.
For his part, Mulatu recalled that when late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai traveled to Africa for the first time 50 years ago, Ethiopia was one of the countries he visited.
That fact that Li chose Ethiopia as the first leg of his ongoing Africa tour shows that Beijing attaches high importance to its relations with Ethiopia, added the president.
The Ethiopia-China relationship, which is based on mutual respect, win-win cooperation and genuine friendship, is very close and robust, he said, while expressing his gratitude to China's valuable support and unselfish assistance for and Chinese enterprises' active participation in his country's socio-economic development.
Ethiopia, he said, admires China's development achievements and is willing to treat China as a paragon and learn from China's development experiences.
The president also said his country is ready to expand cooperation with China in the construction of rail, road and other infrastructure, and welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in Ethiopia so as to facilitate Ethiopia's economic growth and transformation and realize common development.
Li arrived in Ethiopia Sunday for an official visit to the East African nation and the headquarters of the African Union based in the Ethiopian capital. Departing Addis Ababa later Tuesday, he will then visit Nigeria, Angola and Kenya to continue his four-nation Africa tour.