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Sino-Kenyan cooperation bearing fruit – World

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China-Kenya cooperation has yielded fruitful results over the past decades and Kenya is looking to carry forward bilateral relations as well as supporting the one-China principle for mutual benefit, said a senior Kenyan official.

In an interview on Monday in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Moses Wetang’ula, speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya, said bilateral relations have grown phenomenally since the start of the century, which has boosted growth in Kenya and brought benefits to the people.

“When you look today, China is a signature to almost every major infrastructure project in Kenya, and the people of Kenya appreciate this,” he said. “The relationship between Kenya and China is excellent.

“Look at the Nairobi-Thika Superhighway, the best highway we have in the country. Look at roads, even in the most unexpected rural areas that are being constructed by Chinese companies, water, dams, last mile connectivity and electricity, construction of institutions and universities,” Wetang’ula said.

“We have a lot going on between Kenya and China. And I would encourage it to continue because it is changing the lives of our people,” he said.

China and Kenya just celebrated the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations last year. China is Kenya’s biggest trade partner while Kenya is China’s biggest trade partner in East Africa, where a number of signature infrastructure projects have been completed in recent years with the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.

In addition to Kenya, China’s “positive footprints”, as Wetang’ula said, can be seen everywhere, including Africa, Asia and South America.

“There’s a beacon everywhere that Chinese development can be visible, such as roads, bridges, and so on,” he said.

Wetang’ula, who was also a former foreign minister of Kenya, said the country firmly supports the one-China principle, and recognizes Taiwan as an inalienable part of China.

“Taiwan remains an integral part of China, and China is recognized as the only representative of the people of China. Regardless of what those who support Taiwan say, Kenya followed the resolution of the UN with which we voted,” he said during the interview on Monday.

In October 1971, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 2758, which restored all rights to the People’s Republic of China, recognizing it as the sole legal representative of China at the UN. The resolution has since been followed by the vast majority of the international community.

Recognizing the one-China principle is “an inevitable development that no country will stand in the way,” Wetang’ula said, adding that in Africa, developing relations with China has proved to be in the interests of the continent and individual countries as well.

Wetang’ula’s comment coincided with Lai Ching-te assuming his role as the Taiwan region’s new leader. China’s State Council Taiwan Affairs Office on Monday said Lai has sent “a dangerous signal” of seeking “Taiwan independence” in a speech upon assuming the role on Monday.

Based on the one-China principle, Kenya is looking forward to intensified bilateral cooperation in many areas through various platforms such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, said Wetang’ula.

Kenya embraces the Belt and Road Initiative and has been engaging the initiative of its own development plans, so the initiative can best align Kenya’s economic development, he said.

One major plan for the government of Kenya is to put more focus on the development of its mineral resources, which Wetang’ula said he hoped more Chinese companies could participate in.

“China will be a critical partner in doing so because we know that when we deal with your country, the red tape and roadblocks to making decisions are far less than some of our partners who put a lot of caveats on many things,” he said.

Anticipating the new meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to be held in Beijing in the fall of this year, Wetang’ula said he wishes it would put more focus on boosting international trade for Africa to create more wealth for the continent.

wangxiaodong@chinadaily.com.cn

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