By H. E. Liu Guangyuan, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya
It has been weeks since the heinous terrorist attack at Westgate mall.
There were heavy casualties. There were tremendous losses. There were deep sorrows. However, we are happy to see that Kenyans have arisen more resilient and determined than ever before.
That is why China, as well as the rest of the world, has witnessed in wonder the great human spirit and determination of ordinary Kenyans to stand together in such a difficult time.
They speak with one voice and forge ahead, reminding the world that they are not only tolerant of others but have co-existed with different races, religions, ethnicities and nationalities; a lush reminder that “we are one”.
We are also relieved to see that Kenyans continue focusing on their social and economic development. We have every reason to believe that the Kenyan Government and people will get through the difficulty soon and Kenya’s future will be brighter.
I fully agree with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent remarks that “it is crucial that foreign business investment continues to flow to Kenya”. This is not the time for investors to shy away, nor is it the time to discourage business.
I have met with Chinese business people in Kenya and although they are more vigilant, they have not slowed down business during this trying time.
The stock market dropped for two days after the attack but it recovered from the shock. Some international financial analysts have predicted that Kenya will withstand the impact of the attack as it has always done before.
The tourism industry in Kenya, which is the largest source of foreign currency, was predicted to suffer a temporary dip before recovery. However, the allure of Kenya’s natural beauty and wildlife, together with the hospitality of Kenyans have kept tourists coming. I expect more Chinese tourists to visit as China has not issued any travel warning.
As Kenya’s traditional friend and development partner, China has expressed strong solidarity with Kenyans.
Shortly after the attack, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President Kenyatta expressing his deep condolences and sincere sympathy with the government and people of Kenya, the bereaved families and the injured.
President Xi reiterated that China resolutely opposed terrorism in all manifestations and firmly supported Kenya’s efforts to fight terrorism.
The Chinese community in Kenya, including company staff, tourists and businesspeople, have also acted swiftly by organizing several events to donate blood.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries and embark on a new journey, China is committed to working with the Kenyan Government in its efforts to maintain national security, enhance regional peace and stability.
For people like me who have had the privilege to live and work in Kenya, we feel like that Nairobi is also our home. We are confident of Kenya’s future. We will do everything in our capacity to help Kenya move forward on the path of development towards prosperity.