An Assessment of Ethio-China Political Economic Relations Since 1991

Getahun Kumie Antigegn


This piece of paper analyzes post-1991 Ethio-China political and economic relations by raising the following questions: What is the nature of the bilateral political and economic relations? What are the factors which enhanced the bilateral political and economic relations between Ethiopia and China? What are the arguments raised by different scholars about Ethiopia and China relations? There are a number of factors that contributed to the growth of bilateral relations. Ethiopia needs China for economic assistance; as an alternative source to the west and China’s development is generally considered as a role model for Ethiopia to follow. China also supports Ethiopia on different international issues. On the part of China, there are also several factors egging China to look towards Ethiopia especially in terms of Ethiopia’s strategic importance and market potential. Ethiopia could be a commercial launch pad for Chinese companies and China is also getting diplomatic support from Ethiopia for its policy on Taiwan among others. There are also common factors both from Ethiopia and China’s side which enhanced the bilateral relations. However, there are many arguments raised following Chinese deep engagement to Ethiopia. Among others on the economic front the bilateral relations are imbalanced; dumping of low price export; underbidding local companies and ideological differences among others. Generally, the paper agues the Ethio-Chinese relations are motivated by political and economic factors.


Political economy; Ethiopia; China; Diplomatic relations and investment

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