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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Guangyuan at the Reception to Mark the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Kenya
2013/12/13

Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Guangyuan

at the Reception to Mark the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment

of Diplomatic Relations between China and Kenya

(Friday, 13 December 2013. The Chinese Embassy in Kenya)

Your Excellency, William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya,

Your Excellency, Wan Exiang, Special Envoy of H.E. President Xi Jinping and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China,

Hon. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade,

Hon. Michael Kamau, Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure,

Hon. Judi Wakuhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources,

Your Excellency, Mme. Sahle-Work Zewde, Director-Gerneral of United Nations at Nairobi,

Your Excellency, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations,

My dear colleagues, Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Dear Compatriots,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

Tomorrow will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Kenya diplomatic ties. President Xi Jinping and President Kenyatta have exchanged congratulatory messages in recognition of this historic occasion. The two heads of state stressed the need for China and Kenya to open a new chapter for even greater friendly relations and cooperation between our two countries.

Today, at this special moment, my wife and I host a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of China-Kenya diplomatic ties. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, China's Permanent Mission to the UNEP, the Permanent Mission to UN HABITAT, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you present here. I sincerely express my heartfelt gratitude to friends who have cherished and supported the China-Kenya relations.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past half century, China-Kenya relations have withstood the test of the changing international tides. Our bilateral relations have closely followed the course of mutual respect and common development. In the process, the cooperation between our two countries has scored great achievements.

History is a mirror. The 50 year-long journey of China-Kenya relations serves as an important source of reference for us. It also serves as an inspiration for the next 50 years.

In the field of politics, the high-level visits and contacts between China and Kenya are the undisputed sail that directs the ship of our bilateral relations. In the past 50 years, frequent visits have been maintained between our leaderships. As a result, our two countries have become closer day by day.

In August this year, President Kenyatta paid a successful state visit to China, during which President Xi Jinping and President Kenyatta decided to establish China-Kenya comprehensive and cooperative partnership, featuring equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit and win-win outcome. Clearly, a bright future awaits this friendship.

For the economic relationship, development along interests of mutual benefits has served as the bridge that connects the ever-closer China-Kenya relations. Over the past the 50 years, especially since the beginning of the 21st century, the economic cooperation between China and Kenya has progressed at a fast pace. Today, China is both Kenya's biggest source of foreign direct investment and the third largest trading partner.

China has also undertaken a series of infrastructure projects, and some infrastructure projects are still under construction. Those projects have, no doubt, spurred and continue to spur Kenya's social and economic development.

In the areas of culture and people-to-people exchanges, the enduring engagement between the peoples of China and Kenya serves as solid bedrock for our bilateral relations. For half a century, the contacts between the Communist Party of China and Kenya's main political parties have grown more frequent and much closer. These exchanges have also included local government officials, youth organizations, think tanks, art performance troupes and media personalities.

Over the past three years, Kenya has become a household name in China. More than 100 thousand Chinese tourists have visited Kenya to savor the beauty and splendor of this great country. Besides, China has provided government scholarships for more than 200 Kenyan students every passing year. All these efforts have won public applause.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Currently, China is committed to realizing the Chinese dream of prosperity of the country, rejuvenation of the nation and happiness of the people. At the same time, the Jubilee Coalition is leading Kenyan people in turning Kenya's Vision 2030 into a reality. China will share her experiences with Kenya where and when necessary, so as to make our shared dreams come true.

Kenya is an important gateway and economic hub in Africa. The economies of our two countries are highly complementary. The cooperation between China and Kenya is full of vigor and vitality, and portends great prospects. China will always remain Kenya's true and firm development partner. I am confident that, with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Kenya relations will reach a new height and embrace a brighter future in the next 50 years.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

When I was informed, a few weeks ago, that my tenure of office would be concluded in early January next year, I felt that the birds in this Embassy compound singing more pleasantly, and the scent of flowers becoming much stronger and fresher. I know, I love this country.

Over the past three years, I have travelled dozens of cities and villages across Kenya, and made friends with many Kenyan brothers and sisters. I have felt the goodwill of a uniquely hospitable and intelligent people. I have also witnessed the great achievements made by the Kenyan people in realizing political stability, economic development and improvement of the well-being under the leadership of the Kenyan government. It is such a glory in my life to contribute to the China-Kenya friendship. I will forever cherish the beautiful memories in Kenya.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Looking back over the past three years, I feel so grateful. I wish to thank H.E. Former President Kibaki, H.E. President Kenyatta and H.E. Deputy President Ruto for their strong supports to China-Kenya relations. I also thank various departments within the government of Kenya for facilitating the growth of China-Kenya friendship. I also take this opportunity to thank Kenyans of all walks of life, my fellow compatriots and my colleagues from the diplomatic corps for their generous help extended to me and the Chinese Embassy. My tour of duty has come to an end, but my commitment to the development of China-Kenya relations will never finish. Neither will my confidence and promises fade.

As the old Chinese saying goes, long distance does not separate bosom friends. I hope Kenyans will regard me as one of your eternal friends, and I wish to continue my humble contributions to the friendly relations between our two great countries, and I wish to see you in Beijing.

Finally, I would like to propose a toast:

To the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Kenya,

To the friendship and cooperation between the Chinese people and the Kenyan people,

To the health of H.E. President Kenyatta and all the guests present here,

Cheers!

Now, may I have the honour to invite H.E. Deputy President Ruto to deliver a speech.

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