Date: Wednesday, 05 January 2022
NAIROBI (AFP) - China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived on Tuesday (Jan 4) in Eritrea, one of the world's most closed-off countries, on the first leg of an African tour.
His visit follows a trip to Africa by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken in November last year that was in part aimed at countering China's growing influence on the continent.
Mr Wang will on Wednesday hold talks with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, Eritrea's ministry of information said in a statement.
China has ramped up its involvement in Africa in its search for resources and has embarked on an infrastructure-building blitz.
China is the continent's largest trading partner with direct trade worth more than US$200 billion in 2019, according to official Chinese figures.
But Beijing is often accused of using its creditor status to extract diplomatic and commercial concessions, with concerns that it is driving many African countries to take on unmanageable levels of debt.