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Deeper Africa links seen on way

By EDITH MUTETHYA in Nairobi, Kenya | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-09-16 09:23
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China is ready to work with African countries to strengthen solidarity, seek common development, and carry forward the traditional friendship to achieve common prosperity and reinvigoration, said the Chinese envoy for African affairs.

"Africa is my second home and I have a special bond with Africa," said Liu Yuxi, the Chinese government's special representative on African affairs, who has spent 18 years of his diplomatic career in African countries including Ethiopia, Togo and Cameroon.

"I have full confidence in the future of China-Africa friendly cooperation."

Liu made the comments after attending the inauguration ceremony of new Kenyan President William Ruto.

Speaking on China-Kenya relations, Liu said bilateral relations have been developing quickly and has become "a shining example of solidarity, cooperation and common development between China and Africa".

He said he believes bilateral relations will reach a higher level and greatly benefit the peoples of the two countries.

The envoy said that the two countries believe in the need to continue deepening their mutual political trust.

BRI benefits

He expressed the need for the two countries to enhance synergy for development strategies in Belt and Road cooperation and under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Liu said that will make China-Kenya cooperation a leading and demonstrative example, as well as strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation to jointly address global challenges.

"Over the years, China has been the largest investor, trading partner and project contractor of Kenya, making positive contributions to economic and social development in Kenya," he said.

In late August, the first batch of fresh avocados from Kenya totaling 40 metric tons arrived in China and was soon sold out.

"We welcome more products of Kenyan specialty into the Chinese market to help Kenya's employment in relevant industries and increase export profits," Liu said.

He said trade volume between China and Africa reached $164.2 billion between January and July, up by 17.4 percent year-on-year.

"China has been Africa's largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years," he said.

China has maintained traditional friendship and close cooperation with African nations, and Chinese foreign ministers have chosen Africa as their first destination for annual overseas visits for the last 32 years.

In early January, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited three African countries, including Kenya, at their invitation.

"China is the largest developing country and Africa is the continent with the most developing countries. As the two sides share similar ideas, culture and intertwined interests, we are good friends, partners and brothers that go through weal and woe, and fight shoulder to shoulder," Liu said.

"China and Africa have forged an unbreakable brotherly bond in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism, enjoyed close cooperation in the path toward development and reinvigoration, and offered mutual support in issues of each other's core interests and major concerns."

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