China will support Kenya to overcome challenges posed by the current global economic crisis, incoming Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Deng Hongbo has said.
Speaking to journalists during a courtesy call he made to Nation Media Group chief executive officer Linus Gitahi, the Ambassador said it is only through bilateral and multi-lateral relations that nations can overcome the crisis.
“China intends to foster closer economic and socio-cultural ties with Kenya in areas of trade, tourism, education, agriculture and global governance among others,” he said.
He added that China will continue playing a leading role in improving transport infrastructure in the country, through provision of technical expertise and financial aid.
“Chinese companies are currently building roads in Nairobi and other parts of the country, and we look forward to venturing into other areas like railway transport,” he said.
Among projects being undertaken by the companies include construction of super highways on Thika Road costing about Sh26 billion, Titanium mining at Kwale, oil and gas exploration in Northern Kenya and dam and dyke construction in various parts of the country.
According to the Ambassador, economic analysts have identified China as one of the nations moving in the right direction towards recovery from the financial crisis, and it is his country’s aim to see nations, especially in Africa, overcome the situation.
“It would be selfish to progress and leave our brothers behind. We believe that through close links with Kenya, the country will recover,” he said.
His statement comes in the wake of analysts predicting an 8 per cent GDP growth for China this year. The ambassador also talked of his government’s commitment to continue supporting Kenya in its efforts to overcome the biting food shortage. “We informed the President that we will donate food aid worth Sh3.2 billion.
This is coming soon and we believe it will go along way in alleviating the current crisis,” he said. On his meeting with the CEO, the ambassador said they focused on how to improve communication between the two nations, so that designed programmes can reach more people.
“Communication is the backbone of any relationship and we need to look for ways through which we can foster it for the benefit of our countries,” he said. However, he did not disclose the details of their deliberations.
While responding to a question on governance and democracy in Africa, the envoy said China will continue respecting the sovereignty of other nations and will not impose sanctions and foreign political ideals on its partners.
“We believe every nation is independent in handling its affairs and that they know what is good for them,” he said. His comments come amid criticism from the West over China’s pre-occupation with trade at the expense of deteriorating democratic standards in some African states.