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China Visit: Ruto Woos China Seeking Fresh Infrastructure Deals

President William Ruto and the First Lady Rachel Ruto meet President Xi Jinping of China and the First Lady Peng Liyuan. PHOTO| COURTESY

President William Ruto engaged in a significant bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, on the sidelines of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.


This diplomatic encounter emphasized the longstanding and robust relations between Kenya and China, spanning over six decades.

Read also: Kenya Celebrates 6 Decades of Strong Ties with China

President Xi Jinping, speaking during the meeting, emphasized China’s willingness to work hand in hand with Kenya in further advancing the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

He acknowledged the equality and mutual support that have characterized their relationship over the years, resulting in a strong friendship based on trust and a partnership for mutual benefit.

“In recent years, China and Kenya have cooperated in the implementation of a large number of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway and the oil terminal at Mombasa Port, delivering fruitful results in Kenya, and giving the people of the two countries greater sense of gains,” President Xi Jinping noted.

President Xi Jinping further stressed the importance of strengthening communication and collaboration between the two countries in multilateral forums, underscoring the significance of genuine multilateralism and the protection of the common interests of developing nations.

China’s support for Kenya’s infrastructure modernization was also a focal point of their discussion. President Xi affirmed China’s backing of Kenya’s independent pursuit of modernization tailored to its unique circumstances.

He extended an invitation for Kenya to maximize trade promotion initiatives and platforms, such as the “green channel” for African agricultural product exports to China.

This, he noted, would create an opportunity for Kenya to tap into China’s vast market and benefit from its commitment to openness.

“China encourages more Chinese enterprises to invest in Kenya, expand cooperation in the digital economy, new energy, and other fields, and help Kenya realize green development,” President Xi Jinping stated.

In response, President Ruto reiterated Kenya’s long-standing relationship with China, grounded in trust and respect. He highlighted the substantial benefits Kenya has reaped from its cooperation with China, particularly since President Xi Jinping’s proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ruto expressed confidence in the eight major steps outlined by President Xi Jinping for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. He believed that these initiatives would significantly contribute to Kenya’s and Africa’s goals of industrialization, agricultural modernization, and economic integration.

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“Important projects such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway have greatly enhanced Kenya’s economic development capacity and improved the well-being of its people,” President Ruto proudly declared.

President Ruto’s visit to China, spanning three days, underscores the commitment of both nations to strengthening their ties and pursuing shared goals of economic development and cooperation.


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