China-Kenya relations strong and beneficial, top government official says

FILE PHOTO: China Kenya cooperation
The first phase of the Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway contracted by a Chinese company was officially opened to traffic in October 2019.

China’s relations with Kenya remain strong and beneficial, a top government official from the East African country said ahead of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Mombasa.

Wang’s visit to Kenya is part of his three-nation trip to Africa, a continuation of a 32-year-old diplomatic tradition that has seen Chinese Foreign Ministers begin their foreign travels on the continent.

“Kenya looks forward to this historic visit which comes at the beginning of the new FOCAC nine-point program of the Chinese Development Co-operation with Africa,” local Daily Nation newspaper quotes Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary.

“Kenya’s Big 4 Program that has left the signature legacy projects for President Uhuru Kenyatta has enjoyed significant support from China as part of the previous FOCAC programs of cooperation between Kenya and China and this will be reviewed during the bilateral conversations as well as with discussions with his Excellency, the president,” he added.

Wang arrived in Mombasa on Wednesday evening and was received by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is received at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya, by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo, on Wednesday, Jan 5, 2022.

Kenya and China have collaborated on various development projects in the East African country, and the current administration considers Beijing a win-win partner.

Some of the Chinese projects in Kenya include a 480-kilometer Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) linking the port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi, and a 27.1-kilometer elevated Expressway in Nairobi whose construction progress recently drew praise from President Uhuru Kenyatta who hailed China as Kenya’s key development partner.

“Our partnership with China is one that is mutually beneficial, that is based on win-win, and we are very grateful to the Chinese Government and people for the support that they continue to render not only our country but to the rest of Africa,” President Kenyatta said as he inspected the project

Wang began his Africa tour in Eritrea on Tuesday and is scheduled to head to Comoros after completing his stay in Kenya. He will then visit the Maldives and Sri Lanka.