Asmara, 5 January 2022 (TDI): Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi is visiting Africa for his annual tour in the region. He arrived in Asmara, the Eritrean capital to begin a four-day tour that would take him to Kenya and Comoros, respectively.

The tour was specified less than five weeks after the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Senegal. Wang Yi will visit Eritrea, Kenya, and Comoros from January 4 to 7, 2022 upon invitation. Afterward, he would visit the Maldives and Sri Lanka. 

According to Liu Qinghai, a professor at the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University,  the three African countries have a traditional friendship with China. He notes that Eritrea built its diplomatic ties with China on the first day of its independence on May 24, 1993, and the two countries have made a series of pragmatic cooperation in the past decades.

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Chinese Foreign Minister’s Tour to Africa

It is a tradition for the Chinese Foreign Minister’s first overseas trip of the new year to be to Africa. This tradition is in its 32nd year. The tour demonstrates the great importance China attaches to its traditional friendship with Africa and the development of China-Africa relations.

During the tour, issues of concern to China and Africa are usually discussed. Also, diplomatic ties are strengthened. The first tour was in 1991 when the Foreign Minister of China was Qian Qichen. He visited Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

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According to Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, the tour fully demonstrates the priority China gives to China-Africa relations, the growing profound friendship between China and Africa, and China’s firm support for Africa’s seeking strength through unity, development, and revitalization.

Thus, Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s tour aims to uphold the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, foster diplomatic relations, and advance the implementation of the FOCAC meeting outcomes including the nine programs.

Possible issues to be discussed during Wang Yi’s Africa tour this week

Since November 2020, in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which borders Eritrea, a civil war has been ongoing. From the look of things, the conflict is still far from ending.

The conflict has caused a serious humanitarian crisis, which has affected Eritrea. Wang’s visit will contribute to peacebuilding and conflict mediation for the region, and help the countries affected by the war solve their urgent problems.


Kenya is a key partner of China in East Africa. According to Wang Yi, China regards Kenya as a trusted and sincere friend and partner and has always viewed and developed relations between the two countries from a strategic and long-term perspective.

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The Chinese Foreign Minister’s trip to Kenya this year will focus on some urgent issues including coordination with Kenya on how to solve the crisis in Ethiopia.


 China was the first country to recognize the independence of Comoros and build diplomatic ties with it. Also, the Chinese Foreign Minister hasn’t visited the country in more than 10 years.

So the visit is a natural arrangement for the two sides to deepen existing relations, and shows China’s diplomatic principle of treating all countries, big or small, equally.

Apart from boosting economic and infrastructure cooperation and assisting in peacebuilding, the COVID-19 pandemic will also be a key topic for China-Africa cooperation.

Further, China will implement its promise to help African countries and other developing countries worldwide fight the pandemic by offering vaccines and medical materials, as well as sending medical teams to assist the ones in need.