Chinese top diplomat kicks off African tour for maiden foreign trip
China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang has kicked off an African tour on January 9 for his first foreign trip to counterattack US strategy to sideline the Asian giant in Africa.
Qin Gang will visit Ethiopia, Gabon, Angola, Benin and Egypt from Jan. 9-16, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily media briefing.
The Chinese foreign minister was appointed in Dec. 30 in replacement of Wang Yi, who like former top diplomats undertook each year a trip to the continent.
“It shows that China attaches great importance to the traditional friendship with Africa and the development of China-Africa relations,” Wang said.
In Egypt, Qin, who served as China’s former ambassador to the U.S., will also meet up with the secretary-general of the Arab League.
The trip of the 56-year old diplomat to Africa comes several weeks after President Joe Biden met with African leaders in Washington in December and promised a win-win partnership with the African continent in a move widely viewed as a push to counter China and Russia in Africa.
China has established itself as a major trading partner with the continent and an investor in infrastructure and mining projects.