8 June 2018

Kenya: China-Kenya Ties At New Growth Point

On May 13, I arrived in Nairobi, the "Green City in the Sun", as the 15th Chinese Ambassador to Kenya and Permanent Representative to Unep and the UN-Habitat.

After presenting my credentials to President Uhuru Kenyatta on June 5, I officially began to perform the full duty of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

It is a glorious mission and weighty responsibility, especially when China-Kenya relations have reached a historic high. And I am well prepared and full of confidence.

My great motherland, China, with over 5,000 years of remarkable history and splendid civilisation, had gone through grave sufferings since the 19th century.

The Chinese people, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), have fought fearlessly, achieved national liberalisation and independence, blazed a new trail of socialism with Chinese characteristics and successfully carried out the reform and opening-up policy.

DIVERSITYThe 19th National Congress of the CPC held in October ushered in a new era of socialism, marking a new chapter of fulfilling the Chinese dream of rejuvenation.

I feel lucky and proud of being appointed ambassador, not for the first time, to Africa and making my contribution to the China-Kenya friendship and cooperation.

My confidence comes from the vigorously developing Kenya.

This wonderful land is full of hope and vitality with favourable natural and geographical conditions, where the diligent and brave Kenyan people have created a unique culture of diversity.

Since independence, Kenya has grown into the trade, finance, transportation and international communication hub of East Africa, playing an increasingly essential role in regional and international affairs.

DEVELOPMENTThe government and the people are striving to achieve Vision 2030 and the 'Big Four' plan.

Kenyans are making efforts for national development while narrowing differences.

I believe that Kenya will keep the momentum of social and economic development.

My confidence comes from the solid foundation and strong driving force of China-Kenya relations.

Over 600 years ago, fleets led by the great Chinese navigator Zheng He visited the Kenyan coast several times and started the friendly exchanges.

Since China and Kenya established diplomatic ties in 1963, and especially in recent years, the relations have leapfrogged.

POLITICAL TRUST

The two enjoy frequent exchanges of high-level visits with political trust being further strengthened and friendship between our people and dynamic cooperation deepened.

That has set the pace for the China-Africa cooperation.

Last year, China's President Xi Jinping and President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to upgrade China-Kenya relations to the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership (CSCP).

The Nairobi-Mombasa SGR, as one of the important and earliest harvests of the Belt and Road Initiative, has been successfully completed. Its first anniversary was on Madaraka Day.

My confidence also comes from the indissoluble bond between Africa and myself.

During my diplomatic career, I have spent more than 20 years on China-Africa relations.

WOMEN

I have visited more than 30 African countries and witnessed the notable changes of this beautiful ancient continent.

I understand African people's aspirations for peace and development.

As the first Chinese female ambassador to Kenya, I will try my best to carry forward women's traditional virtue of amity and perseverance, demonstrate self-confidence and exceptional bravery.

I will spare no effort to perform my solemn duty and push the China-Kenya cooperation to a new high.

The 55th anniversary of China-Kenya diplomatic relations is this year, with the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) due in Beijing in September.

Chinese and African leaders will map out the blueprint for the new era and discuss the measures to enhance mutual cooperation and development.

TRADEThe first China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai in November.

It is a major policy initiative and commitment to the opening up of the Chinese market. Kenya, as a major exporting country in Africa, has been invited.

In a few days, Mr Wang Yang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People and Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), will visit Kenya at the invitation of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

An ancient Chinese proverb says, "continuing success requires unremitting efforts". China-Kenya relations are at a new starting point with a brighter future.

Ms Sun is China's Ambassador to Kenya. chinaembassykenya@gmail.com

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