Chinese, Kenyan leaders vow to promote ties, cooperation

Updated: 2014-05-11 03:35


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NAIROBI - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed here Saturday to bring bilateral ties to a higher level.

Since China and Kenya established diplomatic ties over half a century ago, bilateral relations have been developing in a healthy and stable way amid constant changes of international situations, the visiting Chinese premier said during talks with Kenyatta.

During Kenyatta's visit to China last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Kenyan leader agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive cooperative partnership based on mutual trust and mutual benefit.

Li said China is willing to cooperate with Kenya to strengthen high-level exchanges and political mutual trust, support each other on issues of core interests and major concerns, so as to promote bilateral relations to a higher level.

The all-round, wide-scope and multi-tiered cooperation between the two countries is faced with new development opportunities, Li said.

He hoped the two sides can make full use of the China-Kenya economic and trade joint commission mechanism, while calling for strengthened planning, guidance and coordination in the two-way pragmatic cooperation, and further collaboration in such areas as trade, investment, finance and energy.

Li also pledged to import more from Kenya, encourage Chinese firms to invest more in Kenya, and carry out infrastructure construction cooperation using China's experiences and technological prowess in building and running railway, ports, airports and power plants.

China is also ready to cooperate with Kenya, a transport hub in Africa, to jointly operate regional air routes and build railway networks, he said.

The bilateral cooperation also includes agriculture and food safety, environment and wildlife protection for sustainable development, and a joint scientific research center for Africa, said the Chinese leader.

Calling Li's Africa tour a milestone which coincides with the 50th anniversary of China's late Premier Zhou Enlai's first visit to the continent, Kenyatta said the trip will further the strategic partnership between Africa and China.

Kenya and China share similar historical experience and development goals, he said, while thanking China for its support for Kenya's socio-economic development and protection of the East African nation's ecological environment and wildlife resources.

Hailing China's important contribution to Africa's peace and development, Kenyatta said he fully agrees with Li's proposal made earlier at the African Union (AU) headquarters on China-Africa cooperation framework, as well as Li's another initiative presented to the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa on the joint construction of three infrastructure networks in Africa.

Kenya is ready to strengthen strategic communication with China, advance multi-area cooperation across the board a bid to realize common development, he said.

The president said Kenya is willing to become a gateway to Africa for Chinese companies and actively promote Africa-China cooperation.

After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents in such areas as economy and technology, wildlife protection, public health, agriculture, husbandry and fishery, and finance.

Kenya is the last leg of Li's first Africa trip as premier, which has already taken him to Ethiopia, Nigeria and Angola.

While in Ethiopia, the premier delivered a speech on China's Africa policy at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa. In Nigeria, he also attended the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa.