The Kenyatta International Convention Center

New ambassador says ties will grow

The new Chinese ambassador to Kenya arrived in Nairobi on May 13, pledging to use her new position to enhance Sino-Kenyan relations.

"Based on the work of the previous ambassador, I will promote the Chinese-Kenya cooperation in various areas in collaboration with the Kenyan side," said Ambassador Sun Baohong.

In recent years, China-Kenya relations have made historic progress, she said.

"Particularly during the Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation held last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed to promote the Chinese-Kenyan relations to an overall strategic partnership, creating new opportunities for the future development of the Chinese-Kenyan relationship," she said.

"I feel extremely honored to work in Kenya at this particular time," Sun said upon her arrival. "I feel it is a great mission and responsibility and I am full of confidence."

As a diplomat who has been engaged in Africa-related affairs for a long term, Sun has experienced the whole process of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, from its inception in 2000 to the success of the FOCAC summit in Johannesburg in 2015.

She said she believes FOCAC is an important mechanism for collective dialogue and pragmatic cooperation between China and Africa, adding that it serves as a banner guiding international cooperation.

She said the upcoming FOCAC summit, to be held in Beijing in September, will bring significant contributions to the future development of China-Africa and China-Kenya relations.

"The event is extremely important. Under the current international situation, leaders from China and African countries again will gather in Beijing to discuss friendship cooperation, jointly build up the China-Africa community of shared future and investigate paths and measures to intensify the construction of the Belt and Road(Initiative)," she said.

Sun added that the event will make important contributions to China-Africa and China-Kenya relations, to South-South Cooperation and to the realization of world peace and security as well as the promotion of global governance.

Regarding exchanges between the two sides, Sun said: "People-to-people bond is the starting point and base of intensified China-African cooperation. In the coming years, we will further coordinate the resources of Chinese enterprises, media, Confucius Institutes, the overseas community in Kenya and Chinese tourists, and continue to build the cooperation platforms of the Sino-African Joint Research Center and Chinese Culture Center."

Christopher Chika, director of the Asia and Australasia directorate of Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says: "During the past 55 years since China and Kenya established diplomatic ties, the foundation is very strong. Our relation has been enhanced to comprehensive strategic partnership. (Sun's) coming is just to build an already strong foundation that exists between our two countries."

In terms of technology cooperation, Chika says: "Our ambition is that our economy should be technology-driven. So any cooperation that will help us upgrade our skills and transfer technology is very welcome. There is no doubt we have to work on it, because that is what will make our economy grow faster and generate jobs that we need for our large number of young people."

He adds that he hopes innovation and technology transfer will be key areas of discussion during the FOCAC summit in September.

Source: China Daily/Pan Zhongming

Published: 05/18/18