Chinese President Xi Jinping(R) meets with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn in Beijing, capital of China, May 12, 2017. Hailemariam Desalegn is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called on China and Ethiopia to elevate bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.
Xi made the remarks while meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is in Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for May 14 and 15.
Xi said the cooperation between China and Ethiopia plays a leading role in China-Africa cooperation.
He proposed the upgrading of bilateral ties to reflect the "strategic aspect and the high level of political mutual trust of the bilateral relations".
Xi asked the two countries to promote cooperation in such areas as connectivity, production capacity, trade and economy, people-to-people exchanges, as well as aviation.
He said China welcomes Ethiopia's participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and supports its role as a bridge between the Belt and Road Initiative and Africa's development.
China is willing to deepen all-round cooperation with Ethiopia, a highly influential nation in Africa, in the process of implementing the outcomes of the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and building the Belt and Road, Xi said.
Hailemariam said, Ethiopia and China have achieved significant improvements in cooperation in areas including trade and economy, investment, industrial capacity and infrastructure construction.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a farsighted initiative with global implications, which will promote connectivity and cooperation in trade and investment. Ethiopia will actively join in the construction of the Belt and Road, he said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also met with Hailemariam Desalegn on Friday.
Li said upgrading the China-Ethiopia relationship will help the two countries consolidate political mutual trust, expand cooperation, and advance major China-Africa cooperation plans and production capacity cooperation.
Li expressed his hope that Ethiopia will use passenger and general-purpose aircraft designed and manufactured by China, for the development of Africa's aviation industry.
Hailemariam positively echoed Li's proposal, saying that Ethiopia is building itself into a regional aviation center.
China supports Ethiopia's industrialization and agricultural modernization, and is willing to offer help in areas such as human resources development and finance to assist the independent and sustainable growth of Ethiopia, Li said.
Hailemariam said, the two countries' production capacity cooperation had greatly promoted Ethiopia's industrialization and agricultural modernization causes.
Li and Hailemariam later witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements in such fields as economic and technological cooperation and human resources development.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday met with his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu in Beijing.
The two sides agreed to enhance communication and coordination in bilateral and international affairs, understand and support each other in significant issues concerning their core interests, and safeguard common interests of themselves and other developing countries.