Kenya, China celebrate 60 years of diplomatic ties

President William Ruto with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on October 18, 2023.

Kenya and China celebrated 60 years of diplomatic ties this week, with both leaders praising the achievements of their cooperation.

On Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, exchanged congratulatory messages on the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

China Daily reported that Xi praised the two countries for setting a good example of China-Africa cooperation by frequently exchanging high-level visits, deepening political trust, and jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative.

Xi said the China-Kenya cooperation has not only benefited the two peoples but also set the pace for China-Africa cooperation.

He added that China highly values developing relations with Kenya and expressed his willingness to work with his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, to make the 60th anniversary a new starting point for cooperation with distinctive characteristics as the two countries pursue national rejuvenation.

Xi also said he was ready to continuously enrich the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership and join hands to build a closer China-Kenya community with a shared future in the new era.

President Ruto, who attended the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in October, said China and Kenya have respected and assisted each other in coping with changes in the international situation over the past 60 years.

He said the two countries have made rich achievements in economic cooperation and cultural exchanges and vowed to work with China to implement the outcomes of the Beijing forum and the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue held in Johannesburg in August.

Ruto expressed his hope that the Kenya-China relationship will usher in a future of continuous development, prosperity, friendship, and common progress.

China is one of Kenya’s largest trading partners, with trade volume exceeding $8.5 billion (Sh 1.3 trillion) last year, a year-on-year increase of 22.9 percent.