China’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing, said Beijing was ready to help countries in the region find peace and get rid of what he called outside interference. Xue commented at the first China and Horn of Africa Peace, Governance and Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
As the six countries of the Horn of Africa were represented at the meeting, Xue noted that regional instability and divisions are on the rise, and that the Cold War mentality and power politics have resurfaced while peace and development are being resisted.
Even though China has been a longtime trading partner in Africa, this appears to be the first time it has intervened in African politics – a policy change for China.
Xue said earlier this year that China’s vision of peace and development for the Horn of Africa is focused on the realities of the region and its past experiences, and aims to help countries in the region get rid of outside interference.
“China will continue to support the countries of the region in upholding the concept of common, comprehensive, common and sustainable security,” he said. “To protect regional peace and security and silence the guns in the Horn of Africa.”
Ambassador Redwan Hussein, National Security Adviser to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, noted that Horn countries need to take different approaches to address poverty, drought, illegal immigration and refugees, terrorism, climate change, internal displacement and the effects of war.
“The link between peace and security is too obvious to be detailed here,” he said. “Releasing the region from the burden of war and conflicts, ensuring peace and security remain a priority for all parties. The inhabitants of the region have suffered enough, and we must resort to a civilized, mature way of resolving our difficulties and differences.”
China stressed that it has always believed that the Horn countries have the critical determination to build strength through solidarity and political wisdom to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation.