On November 24th, 1970, China and Ethiopia officially established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, which brought the two ancient civilizations closer together. Similar historical experience and shared development aspiration have forged a strong bond between the two countries in the joint pursuit of progress. Despite changes in the world over the past 50 years, the two countries have always treated each other as equals and with respect, steadfastly supported each other’s exploration of development path suited to its national conditions, understood and supported their respective core interests and major concerns and have jointly upheld multilateralism and fairness and justice. As comprehensive strategic cooperative partners, the two countries have developed relations across the board with growing strategic importance. Today, China-Ethiopia relations are stronger than ever.
The two countries have been continuously deepening political mutual trust. In recent years, the leaders of the two countries have been engaging in frequent interactions. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali have maintained close communication through two official meetings, multiple telephone calls, video conferences and correspondence. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali visited China during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2018 and the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2019. In the early period, His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie visited China and met with Chairman Mao Zedong. Previous Prime Ministers of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia also maintained regular, continuous and increasingly closer contact with the Chinese leadership. Such frequent engagements at the highest level have charted the course for the bilateral relationship. As developing countries that have similar positions on tackling challenges in the globalized era such as climate change, poverty reduction, and regional conflicts, the two countries have always been in close communication and collaboration at the UN and other international organizations, and effectively safeguarded the shared interests of developing countries.
The two countries have achieved fruitful results in cooperation across the board. China is Ethiopia’s largest trading partner, source of investment, and development partner. From 2000 to 2019, the two-way trade volume has increased by over 26 times. Ethiopian coffee and flower are widely popular in the Chinese market.