Chinese Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa's Article Themed "3 years of strong partnership between China and Kenya gets transformative accomplishments" Published on The Nation and Standard Newspaper

The following article written by H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, was published on The Nation and The Standard newspaper on 19th August, 2016.


3 years of strong partnership between China and Kenya gets transformative accomplishments

——Amb. Dr. Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya


The 18th of August 2016 marks three years anniversary since President Kenyatta’s historic visit to China. A day after landing in China on his first ever visit out of Africa since assuming office as Kenya’s president, President Xi Jinping and President Uhuru Kenyatta jointly announced the initiation of China-Kenya Comprehensive Partnership. This cooperation is built on six hundred years of friendship and the sixty years of mutual support and collaboration. More importantly, the two leaders ushered a new era of partnership in development focused on win-win cooperation. Over the past three years, the China-Kenya relationship has achieved unprecedented historic heights, bringing along more and more tangible benefits to people of both countries.

Mutual political trust has, for instance, grown to a new level. The two Heads of State later met in New York and Johannesburg while top leaders from both sides have exchanged frequent visits since President Kenyatta became President. Just last week, Mr. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China paid a memorable visit to Kenya.

Moving forward, the China and Kenya are keen on investing strategic and long-term significance to bilateral relations. On issues concerning core interests and major concerns shared by both nations, China and Kenya will continue pressing towards greater and sustained support as well as deeper mutual understanding.

Mutual and pragmatic cooperation has enabled China and Kenya to achieve new breakthroughs. Chinese investments in Kenya and China-Kenya trade keep expanding. The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has proceeded faster than envisaged and will be open to traffic in 2017. This accomplishment will become a lasting emblem of China-Kenya, China-Africa cooperation. In 2015, bilateral trade volume reached a new high of 6 billion US dollars, twice as much as that of 2013. China has become Kenya’s largest trading partner, investor and contractor. Elsewhere, during President Kenyatta’s tenure at the helm, China-Kenya bilateral financial cooperation has registered record progress. China has now started cooperation on direct currency exchange with Kenya.

Mutual cultural and people-to-people exchanges have yielded new fruits. Kenya is now the center of Chinese media in Africa and one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists. China-Africa joint research center, the first Chinese overseas research institute, will become operational in Kenya this year. Four Confucius Institutes, one Confucius Classroom and three new Chinese Corners have been set up in Kenya while cultural and language exchanges between China and Kenya have been enhanced. As a result, Kenya has benefitted from China’s more advanced agricultural and textile technology. Not too long ago, young teachers group from 15 prestigious Chinese universities visited Kenya for the first time and Chinese young diplomats exchanged visits with their Kenyan counterparts.

Cooperation on regional peace and security as well as international issues has become highlights. China and Kenya have maintained close communication and cooperation in fields of anti-terrorism, counter-piracy, regional peacekeeping missions, reform of UN Security Council and climate change. Both sides have worked together to properly handle hotspot issues such as South Sudan, Burundi and Somalia while the Chinese side will continue to firmly support people in Africa to independently resolve African issues in an African way for the sake of maintaining regional peace and stability. In order to secure common interests of China and Africa, China will continue to speak out from the sense of fairness and justice for African countries at UN Security Council and via shuttle diplomacy of Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs.

Over the past three years, the partnership between China and Kenya has come full circle considerably benefiting Chinese and Kenyan as well as the people of East Africa. The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway project, Mombasa Port Terminal and Mombasa Special Economic Zone are the latest returns of China-Africa and China-Kenya pragmatic cooperation. Areas adjacent to China-driven mega flagship projects are becoming a booming economic belt where accelerated growth and investment have led to revitalized, development in Kenya. Given the prevailing circumstances, it is apparent that Kenya, the envy of many in Africa and beyond, will be transformed in China-Africa industrial cooperation.

History and reality bear witness to the fact that China’s two centenary goals mirror the aspirations of Kenya’s vision 2030. China is on its way to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation while African people are working hard towards poverty eradication and socio-economic development. China-Africa cooperation enjoys great potential, vigor, and bodes well for a bright future. I am convinced that this partnership heralds a better future as long as China and Kenya join hands and move forward in the direction embraced by our two Heads of State.

The writer is Chinese Ambassador to Kenya.

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