ADDIS ABABA, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday wrapped up a fruitful landmark visit to Ethiopia that testifies to the two countries' commitment to further strengthening their comprehensive cooperative partnership.
Prior to Li's departure from the East African country, the first leg of his first Africa tour as premier, the two sides released a joint statement reaffirming their shared determination to lift bilateral ties and cooperation to higher levels and bring more benefits to their peoples.
Applauding the historical friendship between them and the fruitful results of their friendly cooperation, the two countries agreed to continue to maintain high-level exchanges, cement mutual trust and boost practical cooperation.
They reiterated their commitment to further promoting cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, development of industrial parks, and other areas.
China conveyed its readiness to encourage Ethiopia's export to China and support Chinese enterprises to invest in Ethiopia and Chinese financial institutions to actively explore the possibility of helping finance the African country's major development projects in rail, road, power grid and other infrastructure.
Beijing also reaffirmed its willingness to help Addis Ababa build industrial zones and special economic zones, and the latter pledged to provide the required legal, institutional and other conditions as well as necessary incentives.
The two sides also agreed to further expand people-to-people exchanges in culture and education, among other areas, and strive for closer ties between the youth, women, civic organization and academic institutions of the two countries.
Meanwhile, they also reiterated their commitment to supporting each other on matters concerning their respective core interests, enhancing cooperation on global affairs and promoting coordination in multilateral frameworks on issues of mutual interest and concern.
Acknowledging that Africa is an important force for realizing global peace and development, the two countries vowed to join hands in promoting peace and development in Africa and work closely under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation framework to further consolidate China-Africa relationship.
Also on Tuesday, Li met with President Mulatu Teshome and the two leaders agreed to further consolidate bilateral ties and cooperation.
The China-Ethiopia relationship, noted Li, has now advanced into a new pattern featuring all-dimensional and multi-tiered cooperation with inter-governmental, inter-party and people-to-people exchanges functioning as pillars, and political, economic and cultural cooperation serving as the mainstay.
Mulatu said his country is willing to treat China as a paragon and learn from China's development experiences and stands ready to expand cooperation with China in the construction of rail, road and other infrastructure.
The two leaders also jointly visited some Ethiopian cataract patients whose sight has been restored free of charge under a China-sponsored program. The project, started in 2010, has brought more than 2,000 people across Africa back to light.
Describing China and Africa as friends that have shared weal and woe, Li said China will provide African countries with more and better assistance within its capacity and strengthen cooperation with Africa in health care so as to bring concrete benefits to more people.
For his part, Mulatu said the anti-cataract program embodies the steadily deepening bilateral friendly cooperation and the brotherly bond between the two countries, adding that his country hopes to cooperate more closely with China in health care and develop permanent cooperation mechanisms.
Li arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday for a visit to the eastern African country. During his stay, he also held talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and visited the headquarters of the African Union, where he delivered a speech charting the course for China and Africa to push forward their cooperation.
The premier is to visit Nigeria, Angola and Kenya later in the ongoing Africa tour, which he has said will be "one of cooperation and solidarity on the basis of past traditions."