BEIJING — Every year since 1991, China’s foreign minister has chosen Africa for the first overseas trip of the year, symbolizing the importance Beijing places on its partnerships there.
Despite cutting back on international travel recently due to the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Minister Wang Yi is carrying on the tradition, embarking on a five-nation African tour that takes him to Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, Tanzania and the Seychelles through Saturday.
It comes just ahead of incoming U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration and underscores Beijing’s intent to bolster traditionally friendly ties with its African partners.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would remove Donald Trump’s tariffs on imports from China, which are taxes on U.S. consumers and companies. An aide later asserted the former vice president “would reevaluate the tariffs upon taking office.”
A Gallup poll in February 2020 detected positive views of Americans toward international trade, with 79% viewing trade as “an opportunity for economic growth,” while only 18% considered trade a “threat.” (Note: The article has been updated to reflect the Biden aide’s statement.)