China is a key ally to helping Kenya improve the livelihood and development of its citizens, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
The President said this when he held bilateral talks with the chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, Zhang Dejiang on Thursday. "We have increased the level of interaction at the social, economic and cultural levels. Our two countries stand to benefit from the increased people to people engagements," Uhuru said.
During the meeting at State House, Kenya and China underscored the need to entrench their win-win engagements for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries. Uhuru said Kenya is keen on partnering with China in gas and oil exploration, developing the pipeline and oil fields. He said Kenya welcomes all the support it can get to improve the lives of its citizens, citing China as one of its key development partners.
“President Xi Jinping of China has always emphasised the importance of upholding mutual beneficial engagements during our meetings,” Uhuru said. He added that Kenya looks forward to the implementation of the 10-point Africa development plan outlined by Xi during last year’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in South Africa to boost strategic cooperation.
Programmes covered under the $60 billion (Sh6.1 trillion) plan include industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, infrastructure and financial services. Others are green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.
Uhuru said Dejiang's engagements with Kenyan leaders will boost political cooperation between the two countries. Dejiang also met members of the National Assembly and Senate to discuss ways to deepen partnerships between the parliaments of the two countries. "Legislators should understand the importance the executive arm attached to partnerships between the two countries," Uhuru said.
He added that engagement with the two houses of parliament will strengthen the partnerships between political parties in the country and China’s communist party.
"The engagement will also strengthen legislative processes to help speed-up the executive agenda on economic and trade cooperation between the two countries," Uhuru said.
Dejiang said that Kenya has a strong foundation based on the strong leadership of Uhuru's Jubilee administration.
He also exuded confidence that the continued stability in Kenya heralded rapid development for the country.
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