A damaged tank stands abandoned on a road near Humera, Ethiopia, on November 22, 2020. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced military operations in Tigray on November 4, 2020, saying they came in response to attacks on federal army camps by the party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) EDUARDO SOTERAS / AFP
Veteran China journalist Mark K. Magsted’s documentary podcast series “On China’s Silk Road” featured an in-depth analysis in its latest episode, posted on Friday, about Chinese investments in Ethiopia and the new risks presented by the conflict in the Tigray region:
“So Chinese and other companies in Chinese-built industrial parks can send their goods on a Chinese-built train to a Chinese-built port. Ethiopians get jobs, a chance to build skills and diversify the economy. And China gets a presence in the strategically vital Horn of Africa. As China’s leaders like to say – it’s a win-win.
But Ethiopia is still a volatile place, with many ethnic and political rivalries. And one just turned hot again, in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray. That’s included airstrikes against the local Tigrean militia, which attacked a government military base.”
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One of the common misperceptions about Chinese investment in Africa is there’s no difference between state-owned and private companies. In many instances, they’re referred to simply as “Chinese” companies without understanding that there ...