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60 Years after the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, Kenya-China Friendship and Cooperation Have Grown Stronger Over Time

2023-12-25 | China Daily

On December 14, China and Kenya celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In a recent joint interview with Xinhua News Agency and other Chinese media in the capital Nairobi, Mudavadi, Kenya’s Chief Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs, said that this is a good day for the people of Kenya and China to build on the past and open up the future, and the friendship and cooperation between the two countries will become stronger as time goes by.


On December 14, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian (right) and Chief Minister of the Kenyan Cabinet, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Overseas Chinese Affairs Mudavadi attended a reception

[Photo/China Daily]

Over the past 60 years, Kenya-China relations have achieved leapfrog development, political mutual trust has reached new heights, and Kenya-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has continued to develop. Today, exchanges between Kenya and China cover various aspects such as trade, infrastructure, cultural and academic communication. Jointly building the "Belt and Road" initiative deeply connect China's concepts with Kenya's 2030 national development vision, and connects the people of the two countries to build a new era of dreams.

Mudavadi said that over the past 60 years, Kenya-China cooperation has continued to expand and deepen. More and more Chinese companies have come to Kenya and other African countries to invest and establish businesses. As a result, the infrastructure of Kenya and many other African countries has taken on a new look, which has greatly promoted local socioeconomic development.

Taking the Kenya Standard Gauge Railway, which is about 600 kilometers long, as an example, Mudavadi said that this is Kenya’s largest infrastructure construction project since independence and is also Kenya’s flagship project to achieve its 2030 national development vision. According to estimates by the Kenya Railways Authority, the project’s contribution to Kenya’s GDP exceeds 2%.


Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway,SGR [Photo by Lu Yufei for UPSC]


Nairobi Terminus [Photo by Lu Yufei for UPSC]

Mudavadi said that this year marks the 10th anniversary of jointly building the "Belt and Road" initiative. Kenyan President Ruto attended the third "Belt and Road" International Cooperation Summit Forum held in Beijing in October. Kenya and China have reached many consensuses on supporting more Chinese companies to invest in Kenya and expand cooperation in areas such as digital economy and new energy.

On the same day, President Xi Jinping and Kenyan President Ruto exchanged congratulatory messages to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Xi Jinping pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations 60 years ago, China and Kenya have always cooperated and developed hand in hand, becoming good friends with mutual trust politically and good partners with win-win economic cooperation. In recent years, the two countries have had frequent high-level exchanges, continued to deepen political mutual trust, and achieved fruitful results in jointly building the "Belt and Road". They are at the forefront of China-Africa cooperation, which not only brings benefits to the two peoples, but also sets an example for China-Africa cooperation.


On December 14, guests visited the photo exhibition celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Kenya [Photo/China Daily]

Ruto said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations 60 years ago, Kenya and China have jointly responded to the changing international situation and adhered to mutual respect, mutual support, friendly cooperation, solidarity and mutual assistance, and their partnership has become stronger over time. Bilateral economic cooperation and cultural exchanges have achieved fruitful results. Kenya is willing to work with China to implement the outcomes of the third "Belt and Road" International Cooperation Summit Forum and the China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue in Johannesburg, so that the relations between the two countries will usher in a bright future of sustained development, prosperity, friendship, and common progress.

As the largest economy in East Africa, Kenya is rich in renewable resources such as geothermal and solar energy, but the current development rate is low. Mudavadi said that China has advanced new energy technology and complements Kenya's advantages in the field of renewable energy, and will achieve a win-win situation in the field of green cooperation. In addition, Kenya-China agricultural cooperation has huge potential, especially in dryland agriculture, water harvesting and agricultural processing.

Mudavadi said that China's eight high-quality actions to jointly build the "Belt and Road" can further help Africa achieve industrialization, agricultural modernization and economic integration. He pointed out that Kenya's current goal is to continuously consolidate cooperation with China and promote the development of key areas such as blue economy, information and communication technology, manufacturing, health and housing. Kenya is willing to further strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of art, sports, culture and other fields, and promote exchanges between young people from the two countries.

Mudavadi pointed out that China's global development initiative, global security initiative, and global civilization initiative have received widespread support, demonstrating China's vision of promoting the world to achieve comprehensive, inclusive, and sustainable development. On these three major initiatives as well as jointly building the "Belt and Road" and other issues, Kenya and China share a common position and pursuit.

Looking to the future, Mudavadi said: "Kenya hopes to continue to strengthen bilateral cooperation with China, enhance people-to-people exchanges, and join hands to move into the new 60 years."


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Edited and Translated by Lu Yufei