Ethiopia-China ties are set for further boost as the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic ties approaches, an Ethiopian official said.

Ethiopia and China established diplomatic ties in 1970, with the two countries in recent years forging closer economic, political, social and cultural ties.

Nebiat Getachew Spokesperson for Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Ethiopia plans to organise various ceremonies to celebrate the golden jubilee of the establishment of ties with China, one of the most important diplomatic ties the east African country has with foreign countries.

“Ethiopia and China have forged strong political, economic and people-to-people ties, with China vigorously supporting Ethiopia’s economic development plans,” Getachew said.

“Thousands of Ethiopians are currently attending short to long term training programs in China, to help build Ethiopia’s local capacity and human knowledge,” Getachew told.

Getachew said Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has visited China twice since he came into office in April 2018, while various high-level Chinese delegations have visited Ethiopia.

Getachew also said China is supporting Ethiopia’s infrastructure drive including having built and financed the multi-billion U.S. dollars 756 km Ethiopia-Djibouti electrified rail line, and the 85 km Addis Ababa-Adama toll expressway, which are crucial to meet the infrastructure needs of landlocked Ethiopia.

“Ethiopia is a key partner in the Belt & Road Initiative, which aims to connect China to the rest of the world through a network of infrastructure,” Getachew said.