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Chinese premier's Africa tour deepens friendship, cooperation: ambassador

14 May 2014, 20:26

Beijing - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has successfully completed an African tour and returned home, after he closed his fruitful visit to Kenya on Sunday, which has contributed to deepening China-Kenya friendship and enhancing strategic mutual trust.

Kenya was the final stop of Li's four-nation African tour, which bears a special and key significance for the sustained and sound development of China-Kenya relations, Chinese ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said.

The Kenyan government highly valued Li's visit and welcomed Li with the highest-level protocols, Liu said.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto respectively accompanied Li in various activities, and led several ministers and senior military officers to the airport to meet Li and see him off.

Kenyatta also held a solemn ceremony and grand reception at the Nairobi State House to welcome Li. He published articles on key Kenyan media outlets to laud Kenya-China relations.

Kenyan television stations and newspapers heavily reported Li's less-than-48-hour visit to Kenya.

Speaking at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia, Li listed four principles, outlined six areas and highlighted one platform for China and Africa to upgrade cooperation, while at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Nigeria, he pledged Chinese assistance for an African blueprint to connect regional countries with high-speed railways, expressways and air routes, according to Liu.

During Li's visit to Kenya, China and the African country signed 17 documents in such areas as politics, infrastructure construction, trade, investment, culture, ecological protection and security, which steered the development of China-Kenya ties toward a broader sphere and higher level and was also a step toward creating an upgraded version of China-Africa cooperation.

On Sunday, China and Kenya signed a co-financing deal to build a railway from Nairobi to Mombasa, a critical infrastructure project to realize regional interconnectivity. Li, together with presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan as well as representatives from Tanzania, Burundi and the African Development Bank, witnessed the signing of the agreement, Liu said.

The ambassador noted that in a tight schedule, Li visited the National Youth Service, which was established in 1964 to provide a home for displaced children, calling for efforts to boost youth employment in Africa.

He also visited the Ivory Burning Site Monument in the Nairobi National Park, stressing that China is ready to cooperate with Kenya and other countries in ecological and wildlife protection, Liu added.

Hailing Kenya as a country of great regional significance, Liu said Li's visit has further consolidated the foundation for the development of all-dimensional cooperation between China and Kenya, enhanced the friendship between the two peoples, and boosted not only China-Kenya ties, but also China-Africa ties at large.

- Xinhua


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