|President Mwai Kibaki with H.E. Liu Guangyuan Photo courtesy|
Although China and Kenya are far apart, our friendship is outstanding and ever growing. It can be traced back to over 600 years ago when the Chinese navigator Zheng He came to Kenya four times during his seven voyages to the Western Seas. This friendship has enjoyed steady growth since our two countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1963; only two days after Kenya won its independence. In recent years, China and Kenya have made great progress in the cooperation of trade, infrastructure development, medical services, education, technology and tourism. China is committed to supporting Kenya’s economic and social development, and will continue to work with the Kenyan government and people to enhance the friendly and cooperative relationship.
For the last 30 years, China has achieved rapid economic and social progress. However with 140 million people living in poverty and per capita GDP ranking 104th in the world, China still remains the largest developing country in the world. Africa is the continent with the greatest number of developing countries. Therefore, China and Africa are facing the same challenges and share the same developing agenda. China and Africa should hold hands together and strengthen cooperation to achieve mutual development and common prosperity.
We have witnessed with delight and appreciation that the all - around cooperation between China and Africa are deepening and both Chinese and African people have benefited from it. According to the newly released White Paper on China - Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation, China became Africa’s largest trade partner for the first time in 2009. From January to November 2010, China – Africa Trade volume reached 1148.81 billion U.S. Dollars, a year on year growth of 43.5%. To standardize and improve the quality of its exporting products to African countries is China’s priority right now. Great efforts have been put in to place. We believe with joints efforts, China Africa friendship will be lifted to a new level and China – Africa strategic partnership will sail toward a better future.
The media landscape in Kenya is lively, diverse and vibrant. It has informed, educated, entertained people and helped set the development agenda both in Kenya and other African countries. I must commend the Kenyan Media on promoting the Kenyan culture, and Kenya’s way of life. Kenyan Media has also contributed a lot to the friendship and cooperation between China and Kenya and Africa as a whole. Both people have gained a better understanding of each other’s achievements in economic, social and cultural development through your hard and efficient work.
Chinese media organization Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International and China Central Television have all set up their African Headquarters in Kenya. This highlights the uniqueness and significance of Kenya as an important hub. Chinese media is happy and eager to share its news coverage and to learn from our Kenyan media friends. We encourage more Kenyan media friends to visit China and to bring China closer to the Kenyan people. The Chinese embassy is willing and ready to facilitate this venture and provide all necessary support.
The Chinese Embassy established its Information and Public Affairs Section in September 2010, with the objective of promoting media, cultural, educational, sports cooperation and people – to – people exchanges between China and Kenya. The information and public Affairs Section will serve as a bridge, linking our two countries’ media circles and further broaden and deepen our friendship and cooperation.
The New Year is already here with us. The Chinese Spring Festival is coming on February 3. I Wish Kenyans the best in the year of 2011.
By H.E Ambassador Liu Guangyuan at 2011
Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Kenya.