China and Kenya pledge deeper cooperation

Monday, June 20th, 2022 00:36 | By
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo in Mombasa, Kenya, on Jan. 6, 2022. PHOTO/Xinhua

In a telephone conversation with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo on June 15, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated China’s willingness to continue wo  rking closely with one of its major African bilateral partners.

“China is ready to work with Kenya to firmly advocate and practice multilateralism, safeguard the common interest of developing countries, and uphold the basic norms governing international relations”, Wang said, adding that the Chinese side looks forward to Kenya's participation in the Global Development Initiative (GDI).

Kenya will definitely play a crucial role in advancement of the GDI. This partnership seeks to strengthen the North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation and facilitate the representation and voice of incoming global markets and developing nations in global administrations.

It also seeks to enhance the principle of extensive consultation, collaborative contributions and shared benefits and building of the world’s economy and free and interconnected global developmental environment through working together of nations. It calls for developed countries to collaborate with developing countries by giving them development assistance as they, the donors, also benefit.

Indeed, Kenya is China's comprehensive strategic and cooperative partner. Under the guidance of the two heads of state, China-Kenya relations have entered the best period in history, with political mutual trust deepening and practical cooperation leading the way in China-Africa cooperation.

China appreciates Kenya's strong support on issues concerning China's core interests and is ready to work with Kenya to speed up the implementation of the outcomes of the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The relationship between China and Africa has grown in leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades. The eighth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal in November 2021 once again proved the unbreakable bond between the two partners, and the huge potential that is still untapped in the win-win cooperation.

Kenya's Express Way was built by Chinese contractors. PHOTO/Courtesy

Wang told his counterpart that he hopes Kenya will ensure the safety of Chinese institutions, projects and personnel in the country. Indeed, this is significant particularly in this election year when political passions run high. Still, Kenya remains a haven of peace for foreign nationals and have a soft centre for China due to the positive outcomes of the deepening partnership.

The world is facing various severe challenges and even the danger of division. Wang took a swipe at some countries practicing unilateralism and hegemony in the name of multilateralism and democracy, and undermining existing mechanisms and the international order. He underscored the constructive role Kenya plays in the international arena as one of the most influential African countries.

In the next century, Kenya will have written history twice on its pivotal role in establishing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the region. The BRI is not an entirely new concept. More than 2000 years ago, Julius Caesar of ancient Rome loved wearing robes made of Chinese silk. The silk products were transported from China through an ancient trade route that linked Asia and Europe. It was later known as the Silk Road.

In 2019, Kenya was among 26 countries who jointly formulated the Guiding Principles on Financing the Development of the BRI. These Principles advocate a transparent, friendly, non-discriminatory and predictable financing environment that ensures sustainable economic and social development. Preferentially, Kenya has become the first African country to get approval for the export of the highly nutritious Hass avocados to China. In addition, the two countries signed 226 billion Kenyan shilling deals for the Konza Data Center and Smart Cities Project by Huawei, and the debt-free Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – James Gichuru Expressway in Nairobi, a Public-Private Partnership project.

Kenya’s Big Four programme that has left the signature legacy projects for President Uhuru Kenyatta have enjoyed significant support from China as part of the previous FOCAC programmes of cooperation between Kenya and China. The two countries will continue to cooperate on both bilateral and global issues including peace and security, health, climate change and blue and green technology transfer and circular economy.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and African countries. Over the decades, the two partners have worked together towards development and revitalization. Indeed, the two have brought a new paradigm shift in international relations as they forged ahead amid big challenges.

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