Chinese Ambassador to Kenya H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa's Speech at the Pre-departure Gatheringfor the Kenyan Awardees of Chinese Scholarship Programs Published

The following speech given by H.E. Dr. Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, was published on The Nation Newspaper on 8th September 2017.



Remarks by H.E. Amb. Liu Xianfa at the Pre-departure Gathering for the Kenyan Awardees of Chinese Scholarship Programs


Honorable, Professor Chacha Nyaigoti-Chacha, the Chairman of the Commission for University Education of Kenya,

Dear colleagues from the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs,

Fellow students and friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon! Welcome to the Chinese Embassy!

First of all, on behalf of the Embassy, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warm congratulations to the excellent Kenyan young men and women who have won the Chinese scholarship programs. I would also like to express my gratitude to the outstanding teams from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs for recommending the best candidates to us. My thanks also go to the colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have rendered strong support to our bilateral cooperation on various areas including education.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you may leave for China in a few days, I would like to give you a brief about China and the even stronger bilateral relations between China and Kenya.

China is a country with a long history and is an important birthplace of human civilization. Chinese civilization has traversed over five thousand years with broad background and profound connotation. China is a country with fast-growing, dynamic economy. Over the past 30 years, the average annual growth rate of Chinese economy is near 10% which has made China the second largest economy from 2010, the largest trading nation in goods and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world, and as the No. One engine of world's growth, China contributes 30% of the world economic development. And China is a nation with fast pace of life. You will surely experience the most advanced high-speed train in the world, use Alipay for online shopping and take sharing bicycles for daily outing. China is also a country with a vast territory and cultural diversity. As I have noticed with pleasure, some of you will go to Harbin, a north-eastern city in China with cold winter and which is also famous for its beautiful ice sculptures. And some of you will go to Changsha. In Changsha, you will not only experience the hot weather but enjoy the popular "hot" food there.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China-Kenya friendship has a long history. China is one of the earliest country to establish diplomatic relations with Kenya upon Kenya's independence. In recent years, China-Kenya relations have witnessed rapid development. Mutual political trust has grown to a new level. This May, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Uhuru Kenyatta met in Beijing during the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation with fruitful achievements. Leaders of the two countries reached new important consensus on further the exchanges and cooperation in many fields. The bilateral relations between China and Kenya have been upgraded to a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership.

Mutual and pragmatic cooperation has enabled China and Kenya to achieve new breakthroughs. Chinese investments in Kenya and China-Kenya trade have expanded quickly these years and currently China has become Kenya's largest trading partner, investor and contractor. In June 1st this year, the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway (SGR), the flagship cooperation project of the two countries, is open for traffic. Since launched, the SGR operates smoothly and safely and about 190,000 tickets have been sold.

Mutual cultural and people-to-people exchanges have scaled new height, while education has always played an important role. During President Kenyatta's visit to China this May, the Agreement on the Establishment of A China Cultural Center in Kenya has been signed by the two governments, which is a major achievement of China-Kenya cultural cooperation. Now four Confucius institutes, one Confucius classroom, four Chinese centers have been set up in Kenya, and cultural and language exchanges between China and Kenya have been enhanced.

The Chinese Government has been offering scholarships to Kenya annually since 1982 and then doubled the quota in 2011. At present, more than 2400 Kenyan students are studying in China. By now the Chinese government has provided about 1000 government scholarships to Kenyan students. This year, we are providing 128 scholarships of different types to young Kenyan students, and more education and training opportunities are being provided by various ministries back home and Chinese companies here in Kenya to Kenyan employees and young people. For example, more than 45,000 local staffs received professional skill training through the SGR project. Now seven Kenyan young women have become the drivers of the SGR after finishing a railway course in China sponsored by Chinese company. I am very proud that China has become one of the most favored destinations for Kenyans pursing higher education and professional skills.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping once said, "When the youth rises, the country rises, when the youth is strong, then the country is strong." Young people are the future of a country, and also the future of our friendship. After this gathering, you will be heading to start your courses in China. I'd like to take this opportunity to express best "hopes" for you:

Firstly, Chinese culture is highly disciplined and "Rule of Law" is a distinct characteristic of modern China. I hope you will strictly abide by laws of China and comply with all rules and regulations of your university. Secondly, studying is no easy job, and studying abroad even harder. Chinese students are famous in the world for their "hardworking in study". I hope and believe that you will overcome the challenges of unfamiliar environment and language difficulties in the shortest period and get good grades, so as to live up to what your parents and country expect of you. Thirdly, I hope that you could get to know about Chinese language and culture, make Chinese friends, and of course at the same time be messengers and ambassadors of your country to introduce Kenya to more Chinese people. At last, it is also my sincere hope that when completing your studies in China you could come back to Kenya and make use of acquired knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of Kenya, devoting yourselves to China-Kenya cooperation and friendship.

To conclude, I wish you success and a happy life in China.

Thank you!

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