It has become customary that the Chinese Foreign Minister’s first overseas trip of the new year is to Africa. Just as customary is the annual bout of chin-stroking and speculation among Africa-China watchers about the choice of destinations.
This year, the itinerary seems to spell out a clearer narrative than in the past. Wang is visiting Eritrea, Kenya, and the Comoros Islands, before traveling to the Maldives and Sri Lanka. So far, so Indo-Pacific. In other words, the visit seems concentrated on the Indian Ocean, a region that’s key to Chinese economic, connectivity and strategic agendas.
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