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Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian at the Reception Marking the 60th Anniversary of China-Kenya Diplomatic Relations

(From Chinese Embassy in Kenya)

2023-12-15 17:59

(Nairobi, December 14, 2023)

Your Excellency Prime Cabinet Secretary Dr. Musalia Mudavadi,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentleman, 

Sixty years ago today, China and Kenya established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level. President Xi today exchanges congratulatory messages with President Ruto on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-Kenya diplomatic relations.

The epoch-making event on December 14, 1963, is indeed a milestone of historic significance in the annals of exchange between the people of China and the people of Kenya, which dates back to six hundred years ago when the Chinese navigator Zheng He made voyages to the coast of east Africa with his magnificent Treasure Fleet.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, our two peoples have forged fraternity, our bilateral relations have yielded fruits, and our two countries have become good friends and good partners that trust each other, setting an example for China-Africa relations and South-South cooperation.

Many friends present here today have long devoted to the cause of China-Kenya friendship. You are witnesses and contributors of China-Kenya relations. I wish to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude and great respect to all of you. I also wish to extend warm welcome to all heads of foreign diplomatic missions and all friends here with us. Your presence is the embodiment of the powerful connection between China and Kenya.

Over the past sixty years, China and Kenya have pursued sincere friendship and equality. We respect each other, see each other as equals, and get along well. When it comes to issues involving the other side’s core interests and major concerns, we understand and support each other. China may do what it can to help Kenya’s development, but China is truly grateful to the government and people of Kenya for the great support and selfless help you have given China over the years.    

Over the past sixty years, China and Kenya have pursued win-win for mutual benefit and common development. Major cooperation projects such as the Moi International Sports Center (MISC) Kasarani, the SGR, the Expressway and the GTC in Nairobi, have benefited our two peoples. Our fruitful Belt and Road cooperation has opened a new era of Zheng He.

Over the past sixty years, China and Kenya have pursued fairness and justice. We both uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We both oppose intervention in domestic affairs, racial discrimination, unilateral sanctions, and hegemonism. We are both committed to upholding the rights and interests of developing countries. China will never forget Kenya’s invaluable support in the restoration of the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations back in 1971 and highly appreciates Kenya’s firm commitment to the one-China principle.

Over the past sixty years, China and Kenya have pursued progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness. At every critical juncture of China-Kenya relations, both sides have managed to identify new points of alignment and growth areas for mutually beneficial cooperation, enriching traditional friendship and promoting bilateral relations to new heights.

The long-standing China-Kenya friendship is a testament to the everlasting spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation forged by the two sides. The spirit truly captures the dynamic development of China-Kenya diplomatic relations over the past sixty years, and provides a source of strength for continuous growth of China-Kenya friendly relations. China will work together with Kenyan friends to promote and carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation from generation to generation.

Distinguished guests, Friends,

Last October, President Ruto attended the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. President Xi and President Ruto had a friendly and in-depth exchange of views and reached important common understandings on the future development of our bilateral relations.

China stands ready to work with Kenya to implement the important common understandings reached between our Presidents, take the 60th anniversary as a new starting point to explore a distinctive path of cooperation in our respective pursuit of national development and rejuvenation, continuously enrich our comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and jointly build an even closer China-Kenya community with a shared future in the new era.

China is committed to forging a more comprehensive partnership with Kenya. China supports Kenya’s independent exploration of its own path of modernization in line with the country’s actual situation. China stands ready to work with Kenya to put into action the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, the Global Civilization Initiative, and implement the outcomes of the Belt and Road Forum and the FOCAC meetings, so as to better support Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).   

China is committed to forging a more strategic partnership with Kenya. Both China and Kenya are important members of the Global South. China views and grows China-Kenya relations from a strategic height and supports Kenya in playing a greater role in regional and international affairs. China stands ready to strengthen communication and collaboration in multilateral settings with Kenya to jointly act on true multilateralism, defend the central role of the United Nations in international affairs, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

China is committed to forging a more cooperative partnership with Kenya. China and Kenya are both experiencing a process of rapid development. Our knowledge and understanding of each other must be kept up to speed. China will face squarely and sincerely the new developments and new problems that confront China-Kenya relations, handle as appropriate any problems that arise in a spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, so as to enable Kenya to gain more from the cooperation. At the same time, we sincerely hope that Kenya will provide the corresponding conditions necessary for Chinese enterprises and citizens to engage in cooperation in Kenya.

Distinguished guests, Friends,

In traditional Chinese culture, the 60th year is always memorable as it completes a cycle called the Jiazi, a concept unique to the Chinese calendar. Standing at a new historical starting point, we have every confidence in advancing our friendship. Let us work hand in hand to open up even more brighter prospects for China-Kenya relations.

May the friendship between China and Kenya last forever.

Asanteni sana.

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