Officials from a Chinese top think-tank are in the country at the invitation of the governing Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi), a visit that is aimed at, among others, formalising relations between Rwanda and China.
The delegation, which is led by Dr JI Zhiye, comes from China Institute for Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a well-respected research institute affiliated to the Chinese governing party, the Communist Party of China.
Upon arrival for their three-day visit, the group paid a courtesy call on the RPF Secretary General Francois Ngarambe at the RPF headquarters in Rusororo, before holding high-level roundtable discussions with RPF commissioners and members of the executive council.
CICIR is one of China’s oldest and most influential civilian research institutes for international studies. It is also a leading think-tank for the Communist Party.
The delegation is here to share experience with RPF, especially about the journey to transform Rwanda, and to discuss a number of issues of mutual interest, according to RPF commissioner for political mass mobilisation, Wellars Gasamagera.
He said that RPF-Inkotanyi has had special relations with the Communist Party of China for close to 20 years now, and it is in that context the two parties have had several reciprocal visits during which officials shared experience especially in governance.
“We continue to engage each other on different issues but focusing on CPC’s socialism governance model—which has emphasised on homegrown solutions; an approach that Rwanda considers so fundamental to deliver citizens to sustainable development,” he said.
He was referring to the party’s socialism with Chinese characteristics which has shaped the country’s development agenda based on the culture and homegrown solutions to socio-economic challenges.
“That is the kind of philosophy that we also have as Rwandans and it has brought us thus far”.
Gasamagera also said that CPC’s mutual respect towards other political parties in China is another value that RPF has embraced through the consensual democratic dispensation it has chosen.
On his part, Zhiye noted that two issues are on the agenda of his trip to Rwanda; formalising the Rwanda-China relations and to get to fully sink into President Paul Kagame’s vision for his African Union Chairmanship ahead of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit to be held in Beijing next September.
“This year, China will receive many African leaders in Beijing for the FOCAC summit and, as the AU Chairperson, President Kagame, we very much want to hear his ideas on this FOCAC summit,” Zhiye said.