The speech by the Charge'd Affaires Mr. Li Xuhang
2018/09/27

Hon. Raphael Tuju, Minister without Portfolio, Secretary General of the Jubilee Party,

 

Amb. Amolo, Political and Diplomatic Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

 

Senators and Members of Parliament,

 

Your Excellencies,

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Thank you for honoring this reception to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. As Ambassador Sun Baohong is in China to report her work, I would like to, on behalf of the Ambassador and the Chinese Embassy, extend our sincere greetings and best wishes to the distinguished guests present today, and friends from all sectors who have long committed to China-Kenya friendship.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, 2018 is a year of special significance.

 

This year marks the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese nation has accomplished tremendous achievement and transformation: it has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong. Last October, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was successfully convened and established the historical position of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. China has hence entered a new era, and the Chinese nation, full of confidence, are rolling up our sleeves to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.

 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Over the past 40 years, with hard work and firm commitment to opening up, China has grown to be the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country, with the largest trade volume in goods and the largest foreign exchange reserve. During the past 40 years, China’s economy has grown by 225 times, with an average annual growth rate of 9.3%. In 2017 China’s GDP accounted for 16% of the global GDP, up from 1.8% in 1978, and it contributed more than 30% of the global economic growth. At this year’s Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, President Xi Jinping announced a series of new major measures, marking a new starting point for China’s efforts, and China's door of opening up will open up even wider in the future. We will uphold and improve the free trade system and promote economic globalization in a more open and inclusive direction.

 

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. In the past 5 years, the Belt and Road initiative has been successfully translated from vision to action, cooperation under this initiative has accomplished fruitful results. China has established 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in 43 countries along the Belt and Road route, contributed $2.2 billion of taxes and dues to the host countries, and created more than 200,000 jobs for the local people. China’s total trade volume with countries along the route has exceeded $4 trillion, and its investment has accumulated more than $60 billion.

 

This year is a big year for China-Africa relations. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu, and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Wang Yang visited Africa respectively, and many African heads of state visited China. In early September, the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was successfully held. The leaders of China and Africa jointly drew a new blueprint for cooperation in the new era of China and Africa. We agreed to build an even stronger community with a shared future and work together to implement the eight major initiatives, which are aligned with the development strategies such as the AU Agenda 2063. China-Africa cooperation is again embracing golden opportunities.

 

This year also marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-Kenya diplomatic relations. After 55 years of development, China-Kenya relations have become a model of the friendly cooperation between China and African countries. Over the past year, the China-Kenya Comprehensive Strategic Partnership has borne new fruits and played a leading and exemplary role in China-Africa relations.

 

Our mutual political trust is deepening. In June this year, Chairman Wang Yang of the CPPCC paid an official visit to Kenya, opening a new chapter of high-level exchanges between the two new governments. In September, President Uhuru Kenyatta visited China for the Beijing Summit. President Xi Jinping and President Kenyatta exchanged in-depth opinions on governing the country and discussed the expansion of cooperation in the fields of agriculture, infrastructure construction, medical and health care, and production capacity, which has pointed out the new direction for the development of bilateral relations. The exchanges between two legislative bodies have progressed steadily. The China-Kenya Parliamentary Friendship Group of the 13th National People’s Congress was set up and the Chinese chairman of the China-Kenya Parliamentary Exchange Mechanism was appointed. With the deepening of inter-party exchanges, the two ruling parties have enjoyed more productive exchanges on experience in governance and cooperation in human resource training.

 

Pragmatic cooperation is expanding. Over 400 Chinese enterprises are investing or operating in Kenya, creating more than 130,000 jobs. The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway has been operating safely and smoothly for more than a year. In total, it has transported more than 1.8 million passengers and over 1.96 million tons of cargo. This means 3847 passengers per day and an average attendance rate of 99.6%. It not only facilitates the travel of Kenyan people but also reduces freight costs in the East Africa region by 79%. China supports the efforts of Kenya and other African countries to expand their exports to China. Among the $60 billion of financial support announced by President Xi Jinping at the Beijing Summit, $5 billion will be used to support the export of African products to China. The 1st China International Import Expo, which will be held in Shanghai in November, will provide even more opportunities for Kenya’s export of high quality products. We are going to work with the Kenyan side to establish a dialogue mechanism at director general level, to promote Kenya’s export to China. Now Chinese company has partnered with Java House in coffee export to China, and we anticipate much more Kenyan products in Chinese market in the future.

 

People-to-people exchanges are booming. Since the Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC held in 2015, China has provided over 67 thousand training opportunities and scholarships for Kenyan personnel of different sectors. From the northwest Turkana, to the southeast Lamu, we are providing those bright Kenyan young people with more and more opportunities for training and study in China. The bilateral cooperation in science and technology is also deepening. China provided 200 million RMB to build the China-Africa Joint Research Center in Kenya, so as to help Kenya and other African countries improve technologies in agriculture and many other fields. Till now it has cultivated over 120 Kenyan talents with Master degrees or above. Moreover, Kenya has become a popular tourist destination for Chinese. Last year the number of Chinese tourists to Kenya reached 70 thousand, and it’s expected to reach 100 thousand this year. Every week there are 10 non-stop flights between China and Kenya.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,

 

To implement the consensus reached by the two heads of states during the FOCAC Summit, the Chinese Embassy is pulling every effort to strengthen the cooperation with all departments and sectors in Kenya. We sincerely hope that every friend here can be a goodwill ambassador of China-Kenya friendship. Just as President Xi Jinping said, the key to sound relations between states lies in the affinity between their peoples, which largely stems from mutual understanding. If China-Kenya relationship is to achieve stable and long term development, we must work together to enhance the mutual understanding of two peoples. I believe through our joint efforts, China-Kenya comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership will achieve greater outcomes and benefit both peoples more and better.

 

Finally, I would like to propose a toast,

 

For the prosperity of China and Kenya ,

 

For the deepening of China-Kenya cooperation,

 

For the long lasting China-Kenya friendship,

 

For the healthy development of China-Kenya relations,

 

For the health and happiness of all the guests and your families,

 

Cheers!

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