In the following article, which was originally carried in ChinAfrica, a publication issued under the auspices of Beijing Review, Fikrejesus Amahazion, an Eritrean educator and researcher, explains how cooperation in the healthcare sector epitomises the close friendship between China and Eritrea.
In November 2022, members of the Chinese medical team, working side-by-side with Eritrean doctors, performed complex spinal surgeries on patients in the capital Asmara for the first time in the nation’s history. This coincided with the 25th anniversary of the first dispatch of a Chinese medical team to Eritrea and served as “a timely and powerful reflection of the longstanding ties and enduring friendship between China and Eritrea.”
Contacts between China and Eritrea, the author notes, date back almost 2,000 years. However, “contemporary ties can be traced back to Eritrea’s long struggle for independence, when China offered support to Eritrea’s independence movement.”
In Amahazion’s view, “A key factor that underlies the success of health cooperation between Eritrea and China, as well as the broader relationship, is the firm commitment to the principles of mutual understanding, trust, and respect…The Eritrean government has historically insisted on establishing genuine partnerships and cooperation, while retaining firm control of its development agenda and local implementation. It encourages assistance addressing specific needs that cannot be met internally, and that complements and strengthens, rather than replacing, the country’s own institutional capacity to implement projects.”
This is rooted in a great desire to avoid crippling dependence and to foster a strong, clear sense of responsibility for and genuine ownership of the country’s future among all citizens. “For its part,” he notes, “China’s own approach to assistance has considerable similarities.”
Local media outlets in Eritrea recently reported about how members of the Chinese medical team, working side by side with Eritrean doctors, performed complex spinal surgeries on patients at Halibet Hospital in Asmara in November 2022. The extremely technical operations, which are the first-ever procedures of their kind within Eritrea, are an exciting landmark in the country’s medical sector and history.
Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the first dispatch of Chinese medical team to Eritrea, the recent surgeries also serve as a timely and powerful reflection of the longstanding ties and enduring friendship between China and Eritrea, especially in the field of health. For a quarter of a century, health cooperation between China and Eritrea has positively contributed to the lives and wellbeing of the Eritrean people nationwide, and also helped to move the country’s health system forward.
Although it has received significant global attention in recent years, China’s engagement with Africa actually dates back centuries and spans a number of ancient dynasties. Modern Sino-African ties can be traced to the earliest years of African independence in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, China has become the continent’s leading trading partner, while Chinese investment in and lending to African countries have grown rapidly. Over the years, the relationship has steadily broadened to reach an array of other sectors, including culture, digital infrastructure and technology, security, and education.Continue reading Health cooperation between China and Eritrea contributes to a lasting friendship