Mr Xue Bing, once China’s senior diplomat in Nairobi, is returning to the Horn of Africa with an in-tray to try out China’s own mediation, having toured the world including Papua New Guinea where he was ambassador until last year.
The trip that will take him to Eritrea and Kenya* will be the first time in the Horn since taking up the appointment in January. But it targets long-term regional peace, stability, security and development, according to a briefing by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The Horn of Africa sits on an important location, with a large population and huge development potential. Regional peace and stability are of great significance to the peace, stability, development and prosperity of the entire Africa,” Mr Xue told Chinese state-owned Global Times this week ahead of the trip to Nairobi via Asmara and Addis Ababa.
“The main purpose is to support regional countries in coping with the triple challenges of security, development and governance through independent approaches, and to achieve long-term stability and development and prosperity.
”The Horn of Africa has become attractive to global powers, however. Mr Xue’s appointment is just part of a growing list of special envoys for the Horn.