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Ties with Kenya 'not just about resources'

Updated: 2013-08-13 01:22
By Li Lianxing in Masai Mara, Kenya ( China Daily)

President hopes to learn from China, promote tourism

The strong relationship between China and Kenya is based on a wide range of partnerships rather than mineral or natural resources, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said, adding that it could be a model for China-Africa relations.

"There has been a major accusation that China is only interested in exploiting the mineral resources of the African continent. But China and Kenya have a strong and robust relationship, and it's not based on mineral resources exploitation, but based on investment, manufacturing and infrastructure development," Kenyatta told China Daily in an exclusive interview before his first state visit outside Africa after taking office in April.

Ties with Kenya 'not just about resources'
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta 


Kenyatta is scheduled to visit China from Aug 18 to 23, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday.

"There are indeed many other areas where we have seen a great deal of benefits from our relationship with China, and also there are some areas we need to strengthen, as we know China is slowly becoming one of our largest investment and development partners," Kenyatta said.

He also said China is critical to Kenya's trade and investment, and he will cement the already good ties with China during his visit.

Trade volume between the two countries reached $2.84 billion last year, up 55 percent from 2010, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

"We also want to get firsthand development experience from China, which is the source of success as the second-largest economy," Kenyatta added.

Both countries embraced new leadership this year, and Kenyatta said he and Chinese leaders are facing common challenges. "China and Kenya should jointly drive the international agenda and play a bigger role in the international platform to represent developing countries."

"We have a lot in common in history and could learn from each other," he said.

Kenyatta said his country has a lot to learn from China, especially the model of economic growth, which has been based on the development of infrastructure, manufacturing and fully utilizing the potential of youth.

"We have rapidly and incredibly growing economic muscles, and Kenya could learn from that particular model," he said, adding that Kenya has become an economic service hub for the Eastern African Community, an organization comprised of five nations.

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