President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan of China arrived on Sunday evening in Rwanda for a two-day State Visit. Upon arrival at the Kigali International Airport, the Chinese First Couple was received by President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame accompanied by senior government officials. This marks the first ever visit by a Chinese President to Rwanda.
The visit aims to further strengthen diplomatic ties and cooperation between Rwanda and China and follows President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame's visit to China in March 2017.
In his arrival statement, President Xi Jinping hailed China-Rwanda historical ties which have been beneficial to the peoples of the two countries.
"Despite the distance between China and Rwanda, our two countries and peoples have enjoyed a long tradition of deep friendship. Through 47 years of our diplomatic ties, our relationship has stood the test of time and international vicissitudes, and has enjoyed sound and steady growth. Treating each other with sincerity and as equals, our two sides have made significant progress in the political, economic and people-to-people fields, and enjoyed close communication and coordination in regional and international affairs".
The two Heads of State will hold bilateral talks and address a joint press conference. President Xi will also pay his respect to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, and meet the Chinese community in Rwanda.
Over the last 12 years, 61 investment projects and joint ventures worth US$ 419.556 million have been registered from China. The actual investments are estimated at US$ 352.581 million in tourism, mining and construction sectors.
Rwanda's National Carrier, RwandAir, is in the process of acquiring the operating permit to fly to China's economic city of Guangzhou. Flights are expected to commence in February 2019.
President Xi Jinping's visit follows the visit by President Paul Kagame to China in March 2017.
This year marks 47 years of diplomatic relations between Rwanda and China. Both countries maintain close collaboration in infrastructure, culture, capacity building, health and agriculture sectors as well as people to people exchanges. Projects are financed through concessional loans, grants and potential private sector financing participation.