At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Kenya's new president Uhuru Kenyatta began a state visit to China on August 18. The first meeting between the two leaders has injected fresh vitality into bilateral relations and opened a new chapter in the whole field of Sino-African relations.
Kenya is not only the most dynamic of East African countries in economic and social development, but also exercises considerable importance and influence throughout the continent. 2013 is the 50th anniversary of Kenya's independence, and also the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Kenya.
To commemorate and celebrate this important moment, President Kenyatta has made China one of his first destinations outside Africa since taking office in April this year. Clearly the new Kenyan government attaches great importance to relations with China and considers China as a trusted development partner, and hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in access to infrastructure, energy, agriculture and other areas in pursuit of mutual benefit and common development.
There is currently a surge of development across many African countries, and a rising trend among them to "Look East". They hope to learn from China's experience in poverty reduction and development gained during the past 30 years of reform and opening up, in order to achieve the "African dream" of "Eradication of poverty, economic development and sustainable development" which has been pursued since African countries first began to win their independence. Sharing development experience with Africa has become a goal for government, enterprises, and Chinese society. Moreover, Chinese investment in Africa is booming.
China and Africa consider each other both as opportunities for development and as an important fulcrum of their external strategies. China's development needs Africa and Africa's development also needs China. In general African friends do not see China's development as a threat. The "China Dream" for the Chinese nation is to achieve national rejuvenation and the "African dream" for African people is to achieve poverty reduction and development. Each can help the other.
Not long ago, the former UN Deputy Secretary-General and former Tanzanian foreign minister Migiro wrote that the fusion of the "China Dream" and the "African Dream" need not and must not limited to the economic sphere. It also has rich cultural connotations. Indeed, in this era of high-speed information and globalization, only by enhancing mutual understanding between the peoples of China and Africa and by improving China-Africa folk exchanges and cooperation can we lay a solid foundation for the "China Dream" and the "African Dream", and for sustainable China-Africa cooperation.