Here at our CUSEF blog, we share news, updates and stories about China and the United States. We provide more than a cursory glimpse of what’s going on between the two powers - here, we offer an in-depth look into their current state of affairs.

CUSEF Express

CUSEF Express - January 12, 2023


Qin Gang visits Ethiopia, AU headquarters

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (Zh/En) and Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen (Zh/En) on Tuesday. “As major developing countries sharing visions and joining hands in the pursuit of modernization, China and Ethiopia need to be partners that firmly support each other, pursue common development and uphold international fairness and justice” (作为理念相通的发展中大国、探索追求现代化的同行者,两国要做坚定相互支持的伙伴、共同发展的伙伴、捍卫国际公平正义的伙伴), Qin said during the meeting with Abiy. When meeting with Demeke, Qin highlighted numerous cooperation projects between the two countries, as well as the nine programs (“九项工程”) of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road cooperation.
  • On Wednesday, Qin visited the headquarters of the African Union (AU), during which he made a speech (Zh/En) at the Completion Ceremony for the China-aided Project of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention Headquarters. Qin referred to the ten cooperation plans (“十大合作计划”), eight major initiatives (“八大行动”), and nine programs of FOCAC when reviewing the achievement of China-Africa cooperation.
  • The nine programs mapping out a three-year cooperation plan (Zh/En) were raised by President Xi Jinping at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC (Zh/En) in November 2021. The plan is the first under the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 (Zh/En) launched at the same meeting. The eight major initiatives (Zh/En) were put forward at the 2018 Beijing Summit and the 7th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC (Zh/En). The ten cooperation plans (Zh/En) were proposed by President Xi at the Johannesburg Summit and the 6th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC in 2015. These schemes include cooperation in the economy, green development, people-to-people exchange, and security. The ten cooperation plans and the eight major initiatives have been accomplished.
  • In his remarks, Qin brought forward a four-prong proposal on China-Africa relations:
    • to “intensify our in-person interactions and connectivity of ideas” (加快推进中非实体交往和理念相通);
    • to “further deepen the friendly relations between China and the AU” (不断深化中非盟友好关系);
    • to “do more upgrade and elevate China-Africa cooperation” (大力推动中非合作提质升级); and,
    • to “stand firm in defending the unity and cooperation of developing countries” (坚定捍卫发展中国家团结合作)
  • Qin also held the 8th China-AU Strategic Dialogue with Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat (Zh/En) yesterday. Qin told Faki that “China has always prioritized Africa in its diplomacy” and highlighted China’s leading role in supporting the AU’s admittance to the G20. At a press conference after the meeting, Qin criticized (Zh/En) the accusation of China’s "debt trap" in Africa, saying the so-called “debt trap” was actually a “narrative trap.” “Only the African people are in the best position” to tell what the cooperation has brought to them.

Beijing responds to travel restrictions targeting China

  • In response to the question about China’s suspension of visa issuance to Japanese citizens, Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Wenbin said it was a reaction to “certain countries’ discriminatory action with reciprocal measures.” Wang said the travel restrictions imposed on China were “neither science-based nor necessary,” citing health experts and epidemiologists around the world.

WSJ: Xie Feng likely to become ambassador to Washington

  • Vice foreign minister Xie Feng is expected to be nominated as China’s ambassador to the U.S., the Wall Street Journal quoted sources as saying. Some people expect Xie to have limited room for creative diplomacy if he takes the post.

Commentaries of the day

China’s reopening: Wang Huiyao, founder of the Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG), said China’s removing of the COVID-19 travel restrictions would benefit the supply chain, investment, consumers, and the global tourism sector and mitigate China-U.S. tensions.

From the readers

  • Here is today’s question: What do you expect from the U.S.’s policy toward Africa in the coming few years?

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