China, Kenya vow to enhance ties via concrete cooperation
English.gov.cn | 2014-May-10 23:23 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) holds talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, Kenya, May 10, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta agreed in Nairobi Saturday to advance the bilateral ties through concrete cooperation in various areas including civil aviation.

During their talks, Li said China is willing to cooperate with Kenya to strengthen high-level exchanges and political mutual trust, and support each other on issues concerning their core interests, so as to promote the two-way relations to a higher level.

The all-round, wide-scope and multi-tiered cooperation between the two countries now faces new development opportunities, he said.

China is ready to cooperate with Kenya, a transport hub in Africa, to jointly operate regional air routes and build railway networks, Li said.

The bilateral cooperation also includes agriculture and food safety, environment and wildlife protection for sustainable development, and a joint scientific research center for Africa, said the Chinese leader.

Kenyatta said Li's trip will further the strategic partnership between Africa and China, calling his ongoing Africa tour a milestone which coincides with the 50th anniversary of China's late Premier Zhou Enlai's first visit to the continent.

He hailed China's important contribution to Africa's peace and development and fully agreed with Li's proposal made earlier at the African Union (AU) headquarters on China-Africa cooperation framework, as well as Li's another initiative presented to the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa on the joint construction of three infrastructure networks in Africa.

The president said Kenya is willing to become a gateway to Africa for Chinese companies and actively promote Africa-China cooperation.

After their talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents in such areas as economy and technology, wildlife protection, public health, agriculture, husbandry and fishery, and finance.

Among the deals, China's Hainan Airlines would take shares in Astral Aviation, and the new entity would provide civil aviation service in Kenya and other East African countries, with Nairobi as the center.

The aviation deal would also involve the China-Africa Development Fund, established by China in 2007 to help its companies cooperate with African counterparts, a Chinese official said.

At a press conference with President Kenyatta after their talks, Li called trade and investment "cornerstone" of China-Kenya ties, reaffirming that China has never pursued surplus in its foreign trade.

He noted that trade situation is determined by market forces, and the Chinese government is willing to promote Kenyan exports to China.

China encourages competitive Chinese companies to invest more in Kenya's manufacturing sector, take part in the country's construction of industrial parks, and help Kenya improve product processing capability and competitiveness in global markets, he added.

On Saturday, Li also met with Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), and Joan Clos, head of the UN Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat). Both agencies were headquartered in Nairobi.

Li said China would deepen cooperation with UN agencies to boost green development, address climate change, so as to promote the world's sustainable development.

He said China, member of the two UN agencies, always supports their work and has carried out extensive, effective cooperation with them.X The UNEP's Steiner, for his part, lauded China's work to promote green economy and ecological civilization, saying China is an example for other countries in that regard, and that its important contribution to the world environment and development cause is appreciated.

The UN-Habitat's Clos said China, in the past two decades, experienced the largest-scale urbanization in human history and achieved a great success.

Speaking to Chinese and foreign journalists after visiting the Ivory Burning Site Monument in the Nairobi National Park with President Kenyatta Saturday afternoon, Li said China is strongly committed to protecting wildlife and will spare no effort in combating poaching and ivory smuggling.

In 1989, then Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi burned 25 tons of ivory and other hunting trophies in the park. To mark the incineration, the Kenyan government reserved the burning site and set up a monument.

China highly appreciates and respects Kenya's hardworking effort and remarkable achievement in wildlife protection, Li said, adding China shares Kenya's considerable emphasis on the issue.

"Our visit to the monument together shows that the two sides are cooperating in good faith to jointly combat poaching and ivory smuggling, and protect wildlife," the Chinese leader said.

It also indicated that the Chinese government is determined to provide any assistance within its capabilities to help Kenya build the capacity to protect wildlife, he added.

Li said that as a signatory to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, China has always abode by the pact.

To counter the rising global ivory smuggling and illegal trade over recent years, he said, China has been taking a series of legal actions and creating inter-agency action mechanism to fight against the crime.

Earlier this year, China destroyed 6.1 tons of confiscated ivory, and will continue to strengthen cooperation with Kenya and other countries on ecological and wildlife protection, Li said.

China will promote such a concept in the world -- protecting wildlife is to safeguard our common homeland, and protecting biological diversity is to ensure the colorfulness of the Earth, he said.

Li is in Kenya for the last leg of his ongoing four-nation Africa tour, which has already taken him to Ethiopia, Nigeria and Angola.