Chinese Foreign Affair Minister Wang Yi will today begin his first diplomatic trip of 2022 with a visit to the
Chinese Foreign Affair Minister Wang Yi will today begin his first diplomatic trip of 2022 with a visit to the Eastern African nations of Eritrea, Kenya and Comoros.
Yi’s African tour will conclude on the 7th, then he will travel to South Asia to visit Sri Lanka and Maldives.
All the nations on Yi’s transnational tour are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), funding infrastructure development around the world to create a new global trade system with China at the center. Likewise, the tour represents how China’s foreign policy has evolved under BRI and Chairman Xi Jinping, moving away from strengthening relations with the international community at large and towards propping up allies through direct investment.
Given that Eritrea joined the BRI in late November 2021, expect Yi to focus on laying out a roadmap of railway, road and maritime port infrastructure projects which will enmesh the nation within the BRI system. Yi may also insist Eritrea remove itself from the Tigray conflict and promote regional stability through neutrality.
In Kenya, a BRI nation since 2014, Yi is likely to placate officials regarding their unprofitable infrastructure projects and ballooning debt, insisting that they will find solvency in the long-term.