Chinese, Kenyan FMs meet over bilateral ties, cooperation

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MOMBASA, Kenya, Jan. 6 (Xinhua)-- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday met with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo in Kenya's coastal city Mombasa.

Omamo showed pictures of ancient Chinese coins unearthed in Kenya, saying that the friendship between Kenya and China boasts a long history. The exchanges between the two countries can be traced back to more than 600 years ago when the great Chinese navigator Zheng He led a fleet to visit Mombasa.

Noting that the two countries have always respected and trusted each other and their mutually beneficial cooperation has deepened and brought benefits to people from both countries, Omamo thanked China for its long-term support and assistance to Kenya's economic and social development.

Kenya has achieved rapid economic growth and a brand new infrastructure thanks to the strong impetus of Kenya-China cooperation and the deepening cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, said Omamo.

Omamo said that China has become an indispensable development partner of Kenya and she expects the traditional friendship between the two countries to be further revitalized.

She added that Kenya highly appreciates the important initiative of "Nine Projects" put forward by President Xi Jinping at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which once again demonstrates the strong partnership between Africa and China and China's sincerity and actions in helping Africa's development.

Omamo stated that Kenya is ready to work with China to implement the initiative and the consensus of the forum and push for more results in Africa-China cooperation.

Wang Yi, for his part, said that China and Kenya have time-honored historical ties. More than 600 years ago, Chinese navigator Zheng He's friendly exchanges with Kenya and other African countries fully prove that China is a peace-loving, trustworthy and harmonious country. Today, 600 years later, Chinese engineers and technicians are working hard for Kenya's economic development and national construction, which is a strong example of China-Kenya friendship in the new era.

China-Kenya cooperation has yielded fruitful results. China has become Kenya's largest trading partner, the largest source of foreign investment and the largest project contractor. China is ready to implement the FOCAC consensus, deepen practical cooperation and add new content and impetus to the China-Kenya comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, said Wang.

Wang said the pandemic is still raging around the world. President Xi Jinping has announced that China will provide another 1 billion doses of vaccines to Africa. China regards Kenya as a priority. China is also willing to help Kenya improve its vaccine cold chain system and explore cooperation in the production of vaccines and virus detection reagents.

Wang emphasized that the two sides should deepen cooperation in economy, trade, investment and infrastructure, advance the construction of key projects, and support Kenya in building economic belts and industrial parks along the railway lines to create an interconnected development effect.

Kenya is welcome to make full use of the "green channel" and trade financing quota for African agricultural products to enter China, take an active part in the China International Import Expo and China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, and export more quality Kenyan products to the Chinese market. China will continue to support Chinese enterprises in investing and doing business in Kenya, said Wang.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern and agreed to enhance mutual trust, consolidate the political foundation of bilateral relations, strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation and jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the two countries and international equity and justice.

Omamo said Kenya firmly adheres to the one-China policy, highly appreciates China's important influence and role in international affairs and is willing to take an active part in the Global Development Initiative.

Following the talks, the two sides witnessed the signing of cooperation documents on digital economy, investment, agriculture and export of Kenyan agricultural products to China and jointly met the press.

Kenyan cabinet secretaries of treasury and planning, trade and industrialisation, agriculture, health, information and communications, attended the talks and exchanged views on strengthening cooperation in relevant fields. Enditem

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