Ethiopian PM hails strong ties with China

ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has hailed the strong ties that underpin the relations between Ethiopia and China.

Ahmed, speaking to local and international media outlets on late Thursday, said Ethiopia's relations with China are at their strongest point with the two countries partnering in various fields.

"China has previously provided financial support to help build the African Union headquarter in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, a very important gesture to Ethiopia and the continent as a whole," Ahmed said, adding China also recently provided loan support to Ethiopia to upgrade its electric transmission and distribution lines.

He noted that China is partnering with Ethiopia to assist in a number of new development projects, including a project to transform the Ethiopian capital's polluted rivers which seeks to make Addis Ababa a cleaner and habitable urban environment.

"Chinese partnership with Ethiopia extends to assisting Ethiopia's defense field, underlining the wide range and in-depth nature of the bilateral ties," said Ahmed.

Billene Seyoum, Spokeswoman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, also told Xinhua recently that the East African country had signed a number of agreements with China during Ahmed's attendance of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which was held in April in Beijing.

Seyoum said that Ethiopia signed five agreements with Chinese firms in the fields of energy, bamboo pulp manufacturing, printing factory, livestock and meat processing plant and medical products manufacturing, and that Chinese companies are expected to make new investment in the east African country.