In a move that highlights the growing ties between Kenya and China, the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) have begun teaching their officers the Chinese language, which begun on Wednesday April 26.
According to the program director, Wang Shangxue, the collaboration with the University of Nairobi has already enabled 26 officers to enroll in the Chinese language course.
The Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Liu Xianfa, and the Assistant Chief of Defence Forces responsible for Operations, Planning, Doctrine, and Training, Maj Gen Fredrick Leuria, presided over the opening ceremony of the Chinese language program at the Defence Forces School in Nairobi.
“In addition to language, the officers will also study and experience traditional Chinese cultures, such as calligraphy, martial arts and music, at the institute regularly, she added.
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The initiative is aimed at strengthening the communication and cooperation between the KDF and the Chinese military.
The KDF has recognized the importance of the Chinese language in today’s world, as China is one of Kenya’s key trading partners and an influential global power.
According to KDF officials, the Chinese language classes have been well-received by the officers, who are eager to expand their linguistic and cultural horizons. The KDF hopes that the initiative will not only improve communication between the two militaries but also enhance their strategic partnership.
The KDF’s decision to teach its officers Chinese comes at a time when many African countries are seeking to strengthen their ties with China. China has become a major investor in Africa, financing infrastructure projects and providing aid and loans to African countries.
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Kenya, in particular, has been the recipient of significant Chinese investment, with China funding projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway and the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor.
The Chinese language initiative by the KDF is a clear indication of the growing importance of China in Kenya’s political and economic landscape.
The KDF’s move to teach its officers Chinese is likely to be seen as a positive development by China, which has been seeking to deepen its ties with African countries. The initiative is expected to facilitate greater cooperation between the two countries, especially in areas such as defense and security.
Overall, the KDF’s decision to teach its officers Chinese is a significant development that highlights the changing dynamics of international relations in today’s world.
It remains to be seen how this initiative will affect the relationship between Kenya and China, but it is clear that the two countries are moving closer together in many ways.