The establishment of the China-Africa Co-operation Forum (FOCAC) in 2000, and Ethiopia's co-chairmanship of the Forum (2003-2006), gave a substantial impetus to the comprehensive and sound relations and understanding that exist between Ethiopia and China. The establishment of FOCAC, of course, created an important platform for collective dialogue and the effective mechanism of practical cooperation between African states and China. Ethiopia also benefited from this. It also recognizes the need to continue to strengthen FOCAC, to build on the existing relationship of China-Africa co-operation, to expand and deepen the links. It has already demonstrated its value as an excellent example of south-south co-operation, based as it is on mutual trust and understanding as well as mutual respect and recognition of the sovereignty of both parties.

Economic development in Ethiopia relies heavily on the development of closer economic links between Ethiopia and China, as well as with other countries, including India. The relationship with China has provided countries like Ethiopia with economic development that they can really own themselves. China's policies are based on the principles of promoting mutual advantage and a serious commitment to a win-win scenario in bilateral relations. China's readiness to stay away from insistence on the concept of conditionality underlines its understanding of Ethiopia's need to own its own economic development strategy. This indeed explains why relations between China and African countries including Ethiopia, have become so close and successful, as exemplified in FOCAC. And indeed why they will continue to expand and be effective.

What has been particularly impressive about the Government and Party of the Peoples Republic of China is that it has been prepared to offer so much to Ethiopia even before completing its efforts to lift its own people out of poverty. China has been a most dependable partner. And Ethiopia will not forget its generosity.

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