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1. Political relations

China established diplomatic relations with the State of Eritrea on May 24 1993and afterwards the bilateral relations saw a favorable development with frequent friendly visits to each other.

From May 23-26, 1993, Yang Fuchang, Special envoy of the Chinese government, Vice-minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs attended the ceremony of the independence of the Eritrea, and signed together with Mahmud Ahmed Sherifo, Foreign Minister of Eritrea the joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations of the two countries. In September, the same year, Qian Qichen, Vice-premier and concurrently Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Issyas Afwerki, President of the Eritrea at the 48th UN conference. This was the first time for the high level leaders to meet after the establishment of the diplomatic relations of the two countries.

Afterwards, Chinese leaders and officials who visited Eritrea mainly include: Qian Qichen, Vice-premier and minister of foreign affairs (January 1994), Tan Qinglian, Vice-minister of Ministry of Construction (December 1994), Ji Peiding, Vice-minister of foreign affairs (July 1996), Huan Guoying, Vice-minister of the Ministry of International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee (July 1996), Tang Jiaxuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs (January 2002 and Xu Jialu, Vice-chairman of the NPC (June 2002), etc.

Leaders and Officials who visited China from Eritrea mainly include: Haile Weldensae Minister of Finance and Development (October 1993), Issyas Afwerki, President of Eritrea (April 1994, April 1997 for non-official visit), Petros Solomon, Foreign Minister (October 1994), Mahmud, Minister in Charge of Local Government (May 1998), Arefaine Berhe, Minister of Agriculture (April 2000), Weldai Futur, Minister for Macro-economy and International Economic Cooperation (April 2002) and so on.

In October, an Eritrean delegation headed by Minister of Macro-economy Coordination came to attend the "Beijing Ministerial Meeting 2000 of the Sino-African Cooperation Forum".

2. Economy and trade relations and economic and technological cooperation

From 1992, China started to provide Eritrea with some aid and assistance of goods in general and for calamity relief. In 1997, China began to provide it with monetary aid for putting up a Asmara hospital in its capital city Asmara. It was formally started the construction of the Asmara Oratta Hospital on October 24, 2000 and President Issya headed in person many officials to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony. Immediately after the independence of Eritrea, China began to carry on the mutually beneficial cooperation with it. At present, there are five Chinese companies, such as China Building Engineering (Group) Corporation, China Aviation Technology Import and Export Corporation working for the undertaking businesses in Eritrea and they've completed the road-construction and building projects. It has also seen a smooth development of trade between the two countries. The exporting commodities from China to Eritrea mainly include: vehicles and spare parts, bicycles, cement, mechanical equipment and steel materials, etc. In 2002, the trade value of the two countries came to US$ 6.029 million, of which the export from China was US$ 6.025 million.

In 1993, China signed with Eritrea the "Agreement for Trade, Economic and Technological Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Eritrea".

3. Exchanges and cooperation in the fields of culture, medical work and military affairs

In 1994, China signed with Eritrea the "Cultural Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Eritrea". Afterwards, the two governments continued to sign the agreement of 1996-1998, 1999-2000 and 2002-2004 for the implementation of the cultural agreement. In accordance with the agreement, China, starting from 1996, sent experts on sports and culture to assist Eritrea in its teaching work, telling a very good repercussion. The medical cooperation of the two countries was started in 1997 with the first batch of 13 medical personnel going to work in Eritrea in September the same year. And so far, there are 18 medical personnel working there in Eritrea.

The military exchanges between the two countries include: the visits to China by, Petros Solomon, Minister of Eritrean National Defence (November 1993), Sebhat Ephrem (August 1997, December 2002; the visits to Eritrea by General Liu Jingsong, Commander of Lanzhou Military Zone (November 1996). Requested by the Eritrean Government China began to send 5 experts there for the training of the Eritrean Military Band in July 2002, and in September an expert group of 14 persons was sent for guiding the work of mine-detection and clearance.

4. Important agreement and document

The joint communiqué for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the people's Republic of China and the Eritrea. ( May 24 1993)

(Chinese Foreign Ministry October 10, 2006)





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