Source: China Daily Updated: 2013-8-20
The significance of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's six-day visit to China, which started on Sunday, is beyond doubt. With Beijing and Nairobi poised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties this year, the visit presents a good opportunity for both sides to build on their time-honored friendship and chart the future for their reciprocal cooperation in a wide range of fields.
In his meeting with Kenyatta on Monday in Beijing, President Xi Jinping said China is willing to promote a comprehensive partnership featuring equality, mutual trust and mutual benefits with Kenya. Xi suggested the two countries expand their cooperation into such fields as new energy, agriculture and wildlife protection.
The two leaders gave the green light to a series of agreements in trade, finance, new energy and environmental protection. The new definition of their relationship and the new initiatives will undoubtedly inject new vitality into bilateral interaction and enable both to benefit more from pragmatic cooperation.
China now ranks second among Kenya's trading partners. Statistics show bilateral trade has boomed in recent years, surging by 30 percent a year to reach $2.84 billion in 2012.
By June, China had become Kenya's biggest source of foreign direct investment, a total of $474 million, covering such sectors as vehicle and home appliance assembly and construction materials. Chinese companies have established partnerships with local companies, transferred advanced and practical technology to Kenya, and created job opportunities for the local people.
Meanwhile, with China offering more than 200 government scholarships to Kenyan students annually and the establishment of three Confucius Institutes in the East African country, Kenya has become a window of Sino-African people-to-people exchanges. Growing interaction in such fields as the media, culture, tourism and education has helped deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Hence, it is good to see both Beijing and Nairobi are keen on sending a strong message to the outside world that they value each other as close brothers, reliable friends and faithful partners, and are bringing their interaction to an even higher level.
With the trend for African countries to "look-East" becoming stronger, Kenyatta's visit has drawn wide interest. But the entirety of China-Kenya ties is itself telling proof that the ever-closer partnership between China and Africa brings real benefits to both and contributes to common development.