Remarks by Ambassador Liu Xianfa at the Reception held for the Chinese Young Diplomat Delegation

Dear Amb. Chika,

Mr. Caleb Ongomai,

Counsellor Jiang Jie,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening!

A very warm welcome to the Chinese Embassy. Karibu!

I am very delighted to join you on this occasion. Firstly of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya and on my own behalf, I would like to thank Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, especially Asian and Australian Directorate and Foreign Service Institute, for your hospitality to accommodate Chinese young diplomats for their first visit to Kenya.

It reminds me of a wechat message last September from Mr. Wei Jin, one of my colleagues who had worked in the embassy. He was very excited and telling me about meeting with his Kenyan colleague Mr. Kaikai, who was then the Chinese desk officer from Kenyan Foreign Ministry, within the building of Chinese Foreign Ministry during the visit of Kenyan young diplomats to China. That visit marks a very successful beginning of the young diplomats exchange mechanism between our two Ministries. It is particularly worth mentioning that out of the consensus reached by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and CS Amina, the first such mechanism established between China and African countries definitely shows that China-Kenya relations has enjoyed strong and continuous development.

Dear friends,

Please allow me to take this opportunity to brief you about some latest development of China-Kenya relations.

First, political mutual trust has been strengthened to an unprecedented level.

Diplomatic relations between China and Kenya started from the birth of new Kenya in 1963. In 2013, with a successful state visit to China by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, the two countries established the Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership. In 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Kenya. In 2015 President Xi Jinping and President Uhuru Kenyatta held meetings in New York and Johannesburg respectively. In March 2016, Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress paid a successful visit to Kenya. Next month, CS Amina will visit China and co-chair with her counterpart Minister Wang Yi the first meeting of the China-Kenya Bilateral Steering Committee, to review the current cooperation between China and Kenya and make instructional plans for future cooperation. These frequent high-level direct contacts greatly promote the development of our bilateral relations and strengthened our political mutual trust.

Besides, China and Kenya have played increasingly important roles in the international affairs and always understand and support each other on major issues such as UN Security Council Reform, ICC and the South China Sea. As we all know, the South China Sea Islands have been as part of China’s territory since ancient times. Any attempt in any form to deny China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests is doomed to fail.

Secondly, the pragmatic cooperation between our two countries has reached new heights.

In 2015, China-Kenya bilateral trade reached over 6 billion USD, with annual increases of 1 billion USD in two consecutive years, and Kenya’s export to China grew by 28%, while China’s non-financial direct investment and contracted projects in Kenya are respectively ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in Africa. China has become the largest trading partner of Kenya.

Through discussions between the two ministries in late 2011 and early 2015, Kenya becomes one of the pilot countries of China-Africa industrialization capacity cooperation. With the flagship projects such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Stand-Gauge Railways and Donggu Kongdu Special Economic Zone are either progressing smoothly or ahead of schedule, more and more pragmatic cooperation projects between the two countries are being implemented to contribute to the industrialization of Kenya and fulfillment of the Vision 2030, bringing more tangible benefits to Kenyan people. What’s more, trade, technology transfer and investment cooperation between China and Kenya not only brought about tens of thousands new jobs but also more and more high-skilled workers in various fields.

Thirdly, our people to people exchange has come to a new level.

Four Confucius Institutes and one Confucius Class have been established in Kenya, making her among African countries with the most Confucius Institutes (Egerton, Moi). Last year the Chinese government provided over 800 government scholarships and training opportunities for Kenya. More and more Kenya students and officials go to China for higher education and on the other hand, China has become Kenyan’s second largest tourist source country from Asia. With increasing contacts and exchange between our two peoples, the base for friendly relations between China and Kenya is well strengthened.

Our scientific and technological cooperation is also gaining momentum. The China-Africa Joint Research Centre has been launched at JKUAT, and preparations are underway for the construction of a railway academy in Kenya.

The above achievements in China-Kenya relations couldn’t be made without the efforts and support of each one of you. I wish to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all of you present here.

Dear colleagues and friends,

Young generations are like rising sun in the morning holding the future of our countries. In the hands of Chinese and Kenyan young diplomats lies the hope and future of China-Kenya friendly relations. I hope my young colleagues from China can seize and make full use of this important opportunity to exchange with our Kenyan colleagues so as to enhance mutual understanding and friendship. I would like to give my special thanks to our Kenyan colleagues for their thoughtful arrangements of the visit, which give the Chinese young diplomats a very precious chance to enjoy beautiful natural sceneries, a wide variety of wildlife, colorful Kenyan culture and friendly people. I believe with this visit, young diplomats from both sides will learn a lot from each other and make many new friends, thus building up a bridge of friendship to promote the comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and Kenya.

Dear friends,

May I propose a toast, for the successful visit by the Chinese young diplomats to Kenya and for a brighter future of the China-Kenya friendly relations!

Thank you!

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