Tunisia: Chinese Foreign Minister Visit Points to Deepening Ties

by | Jan 17, 2024 | Diplomacy, Economic, Political, Tunisia


From 14-16 January 2024, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Tunisia, meeting with senior Tunisian leaders as part of a larger diplomatic tour across Africa. 

While in Tunis, Wang Yi met with President Kais Saied, as well as Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar. During their meetings, the leaders expressed a mutual interest in expanding their bilateral relationship while maintaining a posture of non-interference in internal affairs.  

China has recently shown interest in pursuing additional infrastructure and extractives projects in Tunisia in addition to other projects already secured. During his visit, Wang Yi christened a new diplomatic academy, hailing it as a symbol of Tunisia-Chinese friendship. 

Wang Yi’s Africa visit also included stops in Egypt, Togo, and Ivory Coast and comes as the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament continues. Following his time in Africa, Wang Yi also made stops in Jamaica and Brazil. 


Wang Yi’s visit marks a milestone in the expansion of the relationship between China and Tunisia at a moment when Tunisia has found itself in tension with traditional European partners over migration and the war in Gaza. 

China has expanded its influence across Africa– in many contexts undertaking large-scale infrastructure projects that surpass the capabilities of the domestic industry. These initiatives are strengthening the bonds between China and a number of African countries, including Tunisia, at a time when Europe and the US are growing increasingly skeptical of Chinese partnerships. China’s willingness to take a more vocal, pro-Palestinian position has created further inroads in North Africa in particular where the issue has been divisive with Western partners. 

The stability of European financing for Tunisia’s economic recovery has become increasingly uncertain, with most potential creditors linking loans to an IMF loan that necessitates substantial, yet politically challenging, economic reforms.  

Forging a broader relationship with China could offer additional funding opportunities for Tunisia’s state-managed economy. This is consistent with Tunisian leaders stressing the country’s priority of exploring a diverse set of partnerships that are not mutually exclusive. 


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