Addis Ababa : The outgoing ambassador of China to Ethiopia appreciated the solidarity of the governments and people of Ethiopia and China during the challenging times of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Ambassador Tan Jian said the friendly relations between China and Ethiopia withstood other trying times too.
COVID-19 hit hard both Ethiopia and China in the year 2020 and the countries have been facing daunting challenges, the ambassador stated, adding that “true friendship however stands out in difficult times.”
During this difficult time Ethiopia showed its solidarity with China; and China also provided support to Ethiopia, the outgoing ambassador said.
“Many of the decisions, like not suspending Ethiopian Airline flights, were not easy. The Ethiopian Airline was under tremendous pressure from domestic and outside. So this is really a relationship that has stood the test of time,” Ambassador Jian underlined.
The Ethiopian people and their government have provided invaluable and timely support during the critical moment of China’s fight against the pandemic, he noted.
According to him, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was the first African leader who took the initiative to have a telephone conversation with China’s President Xi Jinping.
“Against all odds and mounting pressures, the direct flight routes between our two countries have never been severed. And as a result of the sober and wise decision, not a single imported case was from China; and Ethiopian Airlines became among the few airlines that remain profitable during this trying time,” he elaborated.
Mutual trust is the solid base of the diplomatic ties between the countries that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their relations, the outgoing ambassador said.
“Whenever we see Ethiopians, we see them as friends, trustworthy friends. And we know that a friend in need is a friend indeed. In difficult times, we can count on each other to get through it. So, we call it Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership because it is solid and based on mutual trust,” Jian stressed.
Furthermore the outgoing ambassador noted that developing countries like Ethiopia will end up on the very low supply chain unless they invest in industrialization and infrastructure.
“So this is an area that we would like to cooperate further and deepen our cooperation. My embassy has been encouraging Chinese companies to invest in Ethiopia because this is the gateway to Africa, and south-south cooperation,” Ambassador Jian pointed out.
Ethiopia and China established diplomatic ties in 1970.
Source: Ethiopia News agency