Remarks by H.E. Amb. Sun Baohong at the 2018 Farewell Reception for the ChineseGovernment Scholarship Kenyan Students

Dr. Tabby Mungai, Director of Student Affairs of the Ministry of Education,


Mr. Simon Angote, Director of Human Resource of the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs,


Dr. Henry Kibet Rotich, Director of Metrology and Testing of the Kenya Bureau of Standards, Chairman of the Kenya-China Alumni Association,


Distinguished guests,


Dear students,


Good morning. Welcome to the Chinese Embassy!


Today, I am very delighted to join you, the new batch of Kenyan students who are going to study in China, members of Kenya-China Alumni Association and supporters of Kenya’s educational and youth development. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend my warm congratulations to the students who have received the Chinese Government Scholarship of this year, and my sincere thanks to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs and other government departments of Kenya for your continuous engagement in the China-Kenya educational cooperation.


In the year of 1957, when Chairman Mao Zedong met with the Chinese students at the Moscow State University, he said, “The world is yours as well as ours, but in the final analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you.” Today, I am very happy to see so many young men and women with enthusiasm and confidence. You are the power of growth, power of development and power of opening-up. You represent the hope of Kenya and the future of China-Kenya friendship.


As you will embark on your journey to China several days later, I would like to brief you on China and the China-Kenya relations.


Just like Kenya, China is one of the birthplaces of human civilization. China has a vast territory and a 5000-year long history, with profound civilization and deep-rooted culture. Nowadays, China is developing rapidly and vigorously. Since China adopted reform and opening-up policy 40 years ago, China’s average annual economic growth rate has maintained at 9.5%. China has become the world’s second largest economy, the largest trading country in goods and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. In 2017, the share of Chinese economy in the world economy has reached 15.3% and contributed 34% to the global growth. It is universally acknowledged that China now is the strongest driving force for the world economy. Scientific and technological advancement has contributed 57.5% to China’s economic growth last year. In China, you will have opportunities to experience the most advanced high-speed railway system, use the most convenient online shopping and ride the environment-friendly shared bikes. I believe all of these will impress you deeply.


China and Kenya, although far apart from each other, enjoy a long history of exchanges and cooperation. China is one of the earliest countries to establish diplomatic ties with Kenya. In recent years, China-Kenya relations have undergone leapfrog development. Our mutual trust has been profoundly enhanced. Last year, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. During the Forum, President Xi Jinping and President Kenyatta met and agreed to upgrade China-Kenya relations to Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, guiding China-Kenya cooperation to continuously play a leading role in China-Africa cooperation. In a couple of days, H.E. President Kenyatta will visit China again to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and exchange views on cooperative development with leaders of China and other African countries.


China-Kenya pragmatic cooperation has yielded fruitful results. For three years in a row, China has been Kenya’s largest trading partner, investor and contractor. The bilateral trade volume in 2017 reached 5.2 billion USD, 59% more than that in 2013. Currently there are about 400 Chinese enterprises in Kenya, creating nearly 130 thousand job opportunities. The Belt and Road Initiative and China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation have strongly boosted Kenya’s Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030. Our people-to-people exchanges are also booming. There are four Confucius Institutes and several Chinese classrooms in Kenya. The Language and Culture Center at Kenyatta University funded by the Chinese government has been completed. The China-Africa Joint Research Center has become an important platform for China-Africa scientific and technological cooperation as well as an incubator for Kenyan young talents. An increasing number of college students from China come to Kenya for academic and social practice. Last year, the number of Chinese tourists to Kenya reached 69 thousand and it is still growing.


Since the Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC held in 2015, China has provided over 67 thousand training opportunities for Kenyan personnel from different sectors. Since 1982, Chinese government has been offering scholarships to Kenyan students every year. Until now, over 1,000 Kenyan students have obtained the Chinese Government Scholarship. More than 2,400 Kenyan students are now studying in China. This year, 69 Kenyan students have received Chinese Government Scholarship. Around 100 Kenyan students have got Chinese scholarships from other sources. You will go to different cities and universities in China to pursue your bachelor, master and doctoral degrees in different majors. I am very proud that China has become one of the most favorable destinations for Kenyan students. A lot of Kenyan students who graduated from Chinese universities have been performing prominently in their careers and become the backbone of your country’s development.


Ladies and gentlemen,


This year marks the 55th anniversary of China-Kenya diplomatic ties. China-Kenya relations are standing at a new starting point with an even brighter future. I believe that, with the joint efforts of both sides, we will bring more opportunities to China-Kenya cooperation and yield more fruitful results.


Last but not least, I would like to express my best hopes for you.


Firstly, I hope you will abide by the laws of China as well as rules and regulations in your universities. Secondly, I hope you will cherish this opportunity, study hard and live up to what your parents and your country expect of you. Thirdly, I hope that you will adapt to the new environment as soon as possible, try your best to learn Chinese language and culture, make Chinese friends, and introduce your country to Chinese people, thus making your contribution to China-Kenya friendship.


There is a Chinese old saying, “Read ten thousand books and travel ten thousand miles”. I believe that you are going to encounter a China much more vivid and truthful than what you have learned from books and media. And you will draw a clearer picture about China-Kenya friendly relations. I earnestly expect that you will come back to Kenya after your graduation, contribute to the development of your motherland and devote yourself to China-Kenya cooperation and friendship.


Wish you every success in your study and a happy life in China. Thank you.

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