Why is China trying to play the role of mediator in the Horn of Africa? Why do you want to get involved now in this unsafe and troubled region? This is the focus of recent reports in the French media. The first China-Horn of Africa Conference on Security, Governance and Development was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday (20th) and Tuesday (21st).
Because of security concerns, China is trying to play the role of mediator in the Horn of Africa plagued by conflicts and disputes? This is pointed out by a French weekly report. The report also said Beijing was seeking to strengthen its influence and protect its many investments.
At the opening ceremony of the first China-Horn of Africa Conference on Security, Governance and Development in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Monday (20th) and Tuesday (21st), China, which has many interests in the region, Express their willingness to act as mediator.
“I am willing to provide good offices for the peaceful settlement of disputes according to the wishes of countries in the region,” said Xue Bing, special envoy for Horn of Africa affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
In February, China appointed Xue Bing as China’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa, signaling Beijing’s determination to engage diplomatically in a region plagued by various conflicts, particularly in countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan.
In 2007, China had dispatched a special envoy for the Horn of Africa, namely Liu Guijin, the then ambassador in charge of African affairs, who immediately deployed to the Darfur crisis in Sudan.
On the Horn of Africa, Beijing now takes a position:
Since then, China’s interests in the strategic region of the Horn of Africa have only increased. China has a port in Djibouti and owns its only military base in Africa to secure its huge economic interests (eg: transportation, industry, energy, etc.).
“We have learned from history that the Horn of Africa should not be the backyard of any country,” said Xue Bing, China’s foreign ministry’s special envoy for Horn of Africa affairs.
He also reminded: “Many suffered from “colonization” and “cold war confrontation brought war to the African continent”. Xue Bing also called for “avoiding interference in other countries’ internal affairs” and “refusing to abuse unilateral sanctions”.
In fact, maritime diplomacy and diplomatic operations in the Horn of Africa towards Africa on the other coast of the Indian Ocean have long been deployed by China. It was also the destination of China’s diplomatic visit to Africa at the beginning of the year. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi began a four-day visit to Eritrea, Kenya and the Comoros on January 4, as Beijing sought to strengthen China’s role there amid deteriorating security conditions in East Africa, and tentatively extended out tentacles.
Wang Yi’s visit at the beginning of the year is also part of China’s traditional diplomacy towards Africa. Since 1991, the first diplomatic visit of Chinese officials each year has been reserved for the African region. This is also the second visit to the African continent by a Chinese advisory team within two months, following the China-Africa Summit held in Dakar last November.
The Horn of Africa is a crisis-ridden region, and China is now trying to increase its influence and influence:
China’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing, also announced at the Horn of Africa Security Conference that China is willing to support different programs in the region, such as: food security, health, transportation, trade promotion or strengthening the skills of local countries. Various construction projects.
Redwan Hussein, national security adviser to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, stressed in carrying out the projects, “This initiative belongs to the Horn of Africa countries, which are led, managed and piloted. China is only playing a role in The role of supporters.”
He also added: “These are our problems (…) and the solutions (…) must come from within us. The success or failure of this meeting will depend on us, not others.”
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said last week that the government does not want another war, amid unconfirmed reports that the government is in talks with the leaders of rival Tigray groups,
The prime minister said a government committee would soon come up with a roadmap on the issue.
The Ethiopian government has not officially stated whether it will accept the Chinese mediation offer. At the same time, the African Union, the United States and Kenya have continued their efforts to mediate other good offices in recent months.
Another controversy that could complicate the subregion’s mediation process now concerns the “Renaissance Dam” project unveiled by the Ethiopian Prime Minister on 20 February.
The dam has sparked concerns about water supply in neighboring countries, prompting Egypt and Sudan to earlier demand that Ethiopia halt efforts to store water at what will soon become Africa’s largest hydroelectric power station.