Kenya and China on Friday marked 50 years of diplomatic relations at a colorful ceremony held in Nairobi, attended by Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto.
Wan Exiang, special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, attended the event held at the Chinese Embassy to mark the occasion.
Speaking at the gathering, Ruto said relations between Kenya and China have blossomed since 1963 and that the benefits are visible across all human endeavors.
"It is noteworthy that China engaged Kenya diplomatically literally hours within our independence 50 years ago. But it is even more significant that the now 50-year relationship has been assuredly consistent and predictable," Ruto said.
He noted that China's support in diverse areas like infrastructure development, education, health, energy and agriculture has propelled sustainable development in Kenya.
"It is gratifying to note that China-Kenya ties have expanded and deepened over the years and in the process brought the two governments and peoples ever closer by the passing day," said Ruto.
He stressed that China will play a pivotal role in the realization of the East African nation's vision 2030.
"That China has been a true friend and a friend indeed to Kenya is not in doubt whatsoever. Neither have the fruits of this steady and apparent bond been hidden at all," he said.
Ruto thanked China for a sincere friendship that has benefitted millions of Kenyans. "As we start another 50-year journey the relationship between China and Kenya should aspire to move several levels higher," Ruto noted.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan said China-Kenya ties are based on sound values alongside shared aspirations.
"Over the past half century, China-Kenya relations have withstood the test of the changing international tides. Our bilateral relations have closely followed the course of mutual respect and common development," Liu said.
He added that both Kenyan and Chinese leaders are committed to revitalize bilateral cooperation.
In August, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a state visit to China, during which the Chinese and Kenyan leaders decided to establish China-Kenya comprehensive and cooperative partnership.