A delegation of Chinese officials led by Yang Jiechi, a member of the political bureau and director of the office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), paid a two-day official visit to Algeria from 10-11 October 2020, reports Ecofin Agency.
The delegation was part of “the exchange of visits between officials of the two countries to strengthen and promote ties of friendship and cooperation between Algeria and the People’s Republic of China,” according to Algeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sabri Boukadoum, hosted the delegation on Sunday at the headquarters of the Presidency of the Republic where they discussed critical issues bordering on strengthening bilateral cooperation. Both parties discussed the need to boost bilateral cooperation in the field of information communication technology (ICT).
The highlight of the meeting was the signing of “an economic and technical cooperation agreement for a grant of 100 million yuan (USD 14.8 million),” reports Ecofin Agency. The grant will be used to finance cooperation projects between the two countries.
Algeria has a history of defence, economic and other strategic bilateral cooperation with Russia and China. In 2013, the Algerian government ordered AlComSat-1, a geostationary communications satellite, from China which was successfully launched into space on 11 December 2017 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) aboard a Chinese Long March-3B launch vehicle.
Algeria became China’s fifth-largest trade partner in Africa, as the trade between the two countries reached 9.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. In 2019, Algeria and China signed an agreement to collaborate in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Beijing has a longterm strategic interest in North Africa as a significant destination for defence and military trade in Africa, as well as a gateway to Asia, the rest of Africa and Europe within the BRI framework. A CSIS China Power study finds that Northern African countries account for 49 per cent of Chinese arms exports to Africa. Similarly, A 2019 Brookings report finds that Beijing’s strategic interest in North Africa is to play an integral role in connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe within President Xi Jinping’s BRI roadmap.