Speech By H.E. Ambassador Liu Xianfa At the Reception Marking the 67th Anniversary of the Founding of
the People’s Republic of China
(Chinese Embassy, 16, September 2016)
Your Excellency, Hon. Speaker of Kenyan Senate, Mr. Ekwee Ethuro,
Hon. Cabinet Secretaries and Principle Secretaries,
Hon. Senators and MPs,
Excellencies Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps and UN agencies,
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Good afternoon. Welcome to the Chinese National Day Reception. We are delighted to have you all with us to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
This year’s commemoration comes as the people of Kenya celebrate phenomenal achievements at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics. This happy coincidence is part of the gains recorded during the leadership of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto the guidance of Jubilee Party under whose watch Kenya has achieved commendable economic growth, social stability and improvement of the citizens’ living standards.
We are sincerely delighted with the economic and social development accomplishments Kenya has bagged thus far and wish the people of this beautiful nation even greater success in the course of national building under the leadership of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto. We’re convinced that Kenya is firmly on the road to Vision 2030.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the last 67 years, China has scored great achievements under the leadership of Chinese Communist Party, and China is now closer than ever before to the realization of the Chinese Dream that entails far-reaching rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
China’s national economy has developed swiftly, with its overall national strength increasing notably and the people’s living standards improving significantly. As a result, China’s leap-frog progress has transformed peoples’ lives, have made and continue to make outstanding contributions to world peace and prosperity.
China is now taking a proactive approach in adapting to the New Normal of economic development, upgrading her economic structures, re-tooling her development drivers and shifting growth rate gears. China will continue to implement the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development while pushing forward structural reforms on the supply side. We have both the confidence and ability to maintain medium-high rate of growth in order to deliver more development opportunities to the world while ensuring our own development is guaranteed.
Last week, the city of Hangzhou in China hosted a successful G20 Summit to resounding success. The G20 Hangzhou Leaders’ summit generated a historic communiqué alongside 28 specific documents, each representing a distinct outcome. The G20 leaders also struck several important accords, consensus that affirms the determination to point the way and set a new course for the world economy. This consensus heralds a new path for growth and the instillation of fresh dynamism into the world economy. It will enhance global economic and financial governance, revitalize international trade and investment to serve as key engines of growth. It will also promote inclusive and interconnected development so that G20 cooperation in a manner that will deliver benefits to the whole world.
It is worth mentioning that this summit was attended by a record number of developing countries, and for the first time, this Summit has given priority to development in the global macro-policy framework, devised a groundbreaking Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and proposed the G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa and the Least Developed Countries, which will certainly boost and speed up the process of African industrialization.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China and Africa have always shared common destinies and interests. Sixty years ago, China and African countries initiated the process of establishing diplomatic relations. The six decades have witnessed that no matter how the international situation changes, China and Africa are committed to pursuing unity, cooperation and win-win results, and that China's support for African peace and development is truly enduring.
Last December, the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) made a huge success, ushering in a new era of win-win cooperation and common development for the two sides.
Following that Summit, China and Africa have adopted swift and effective actions to implement the outcomes, as showcased by the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in Beijing late July, the result of which was the injection of new vitality into China-Africa cooperation.
Latest statistics indicate that China and Africa have signed over 243 cooperation agreements valued at 50.7 billion US dollars since the Summit. Among these agreements 91% constitute direct foreign investment from China. Investment-led cooperation is becoming a main driver for Sino-Africa business cooperation, marking a new high in economic cooperation and trade between China and Africa.
Now Let’s turn to China-Kenya relations. Our two countries have continued to enjoy comprehensive and rapid development in recent years. In August 2013, President Xi Jinping and President Uhuru Kenyatta jointly announced the initiation of China-Kenya comprehensive partnership featuring equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit and win-win outcome. This cooperation is built on six hundred years of friendship and fifty years of uninterrupted mutual support and collaboration. Over the past three years, the China-Kenya relationship has achieved unprecedented historic heights.
First, mutual political trust has grown to a new level. The two Heads of State last year met in New York and Johannesburg while top leaders from both sides have exchanged frequent visits. Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the NPC Standing Committee visited Kenya this March and Deputy President William Ruto paid a visit to China in July.
China and Kenya are keen on investing strategic and long-term significance in bilateral relations. On issues concerning core interests and major concerns shared by both nations, China and Kenya are pressing towards greater and sustained support as well as deeper mutual understanding.
Second, 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. 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. China has now started cooperation on direct currency exchange with Kenya.
Third, 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. The China-Africa Joint Research Center, the first Chinese overseas research institute, will be completed at end of this month in Kenya. 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 benefited from China’s more advanced agricultural and textile technology.
Fourth, cooperation on regional peace and security as well as international issues has become very visible priorities. 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 hotspots 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 to maintain regional peace and stability.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
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, the China-Africa Joint Research Center are among the latest returns of China-Africa and China-Kenya cooperation. Areas adjacent to China-Africa mega flagship cooperation projects are becoming booming economic belts where accelerated growth and investment have led to revitalized development in Kenya and Africa.
History and reality bear witness to the fact that China-Kenya and China-Africa cooperation enjoys great potential, vigor, and bodes well for bright future. China is on its way of economic restructuring and industrial upgrading while Kenya and Africa in general are speeding up industrialization. The development strategies of the two sides are highly compatible. As a result, rare historic opportunities for both sides have emerged.
As one of Chinese saying goes, the sky is high and broad for flying birds; the sea is wide and deep for swimming fish. Let us seize the boundless opportunities, join hands and redouble our efforts to promote China-Kenya and China-Africa relations to new heights and benefit the 2.4 billion people of China and Africa.
In conclusion, may I invite all guests to join me in a toast,
To the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China!
To the brighter future of China-Kenya relations!
And to the health of all the guests present!