Today, China's influence in Ethiopia is overwhelming. Its embassy is among the largest in the country and hosts more high-level visits than any Western mission. Chinese companies have become a dominant force, building highways and bridges, power stations, mobile-phone networks, schools and pharmaceutical plants. More recently, they have begun exploring for oil and building at least one Ethiopian military installation.
It is all part of Beijing's broad push into Africa. Aiming to secure access to the continent's vast natural resources, China is forging deep economic, political and military ties with most of Africa's 54 countries.