Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi thanked Ivory Coast on Wednesday (January 17) for its “firm support” on the Taiwan issue, during a visit to this country, the last stop of an African tour that took him to Egypt, Tunisia and Togo.

“We thank Cote d’Ivoire for giving us strong support on issues affecting our vital interests, including the Taiwan issue which involves China’s reunification and territorial integrity,” Mr. Yi after an hour-long meeting with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.

Voters in Taiwan on Saturday elected Lai Ching-te as president, who promised to protect the territory from Beijing’s “threats and intimidation.” China, which considers Taiwan one of its provinces, has described Taiwan’s president-elect as a dangerous separatist and threatened his supporters with dire consequences.

Only twelve countries officially recognize Taiwan, including only one in Africa, Eswatini. “This win-win cooperation between China and Ivory Coast has already achieved significant successes to the great benefit of the Ivorian people,” Wang Yi added on Wednesday, wishing to “deepen” this cooperation and “contribute to the development of Ivory Coast.” ‘Ivory’.

Financing of several infrastructure projects

Wang Yi also welcomed on Wednesday the holding of the opening ceremony of the 34th African Cup of Nations (CAN), which is currently taking place in Ivory Coast, in the Ebimpé stadium near Abidjan “built by Chinese companies.” Alassane Ouattara, for his part, wanted to “strengthen” “very strong relations on a political and economic level, but also in terms of world vision”.

As in many African countries, China has financed several infrastructure projects in Côte d’Ivoire in recent years, including highways, hydroelectric dams and a project to extend the port of Abidjan. China has become Ivory Coast’s largest trading partner with trade more than doubling between 2017 and 2022, from $1.85 billion to $4.46 billion.

This visit to Ivory Coast, which ends Thursday with the signing of an electric bus donation agreement, is the last stage of a tour of four African countries. On Wednesday morning, the head of Chinese diplomacy was in Togo, which he also thanked for its support on the question of Taiwan. “Africa must independently pursue its path of development and be able to achieve collective emergence in unity and above all [have] its own destiny in hand,” he declared in Lomé.

On Sunday, he was in Egypt where he pleaded for a ceasefire in Gaza and the creation of a “State of Palestine” as a full member of the UN, before going to Tunisia.