This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Rwanda. The celebrations to mark the day took place on Monday November 8, at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Kigali where China’s Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hong Wei and Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta exchanged congratulatory messages. In attendance was the Senior Economic Adviser to President Paul Kagame, Francis Gatare. Citing a Kinyarwanda proverb, “Intobyi y’amaraso irayitera” loosely translated as the fate of two fingers is to live together, Ambassador Hong said that bilateral relations between the two countries have kept growing stronger despite changes in international situations. “Our relations have been characterized by developing mutual trust which made our relations as stable as a great rock because we respected and treated each other as equals despite external situations on the international scene,” he noted. Hong added that his country’s relations with Rwanda were not an accidental choice, because Rwanda is the ‘bridge to Africa’. “Our friendship was not an accidental leak, but a result of like-mindedness and a win-win investment because Rwanda is actually the epitome of China-Africa friendship,” he said, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping. Biruta commended numerous milestones achieved throughout Rwanda’s 50 years of friendship with China. “Our two governments have worked hand in hand to strategically develop our political and socio-economic ties through high-level political interaction and exchanges which have made our bonds of relationship flourish at all levels,” he stated. He also disclosed some projects through which Rwanda will maintain its relations with China. In the coming days, he said, the two countries will sign a deal that will allow Rwanda to export stevia to China. They are also set to sign a double taxation agreement in addition to an agreement between Musanze District and China’s Jinhua City. Major investments The relations between Rwanda and China have partly been driven by investments spanning from infrastructure, mining, education, health, ICT, transport, tourism, agriculture and defence and security among others. China is among Rwanda’s largest trading partner and largest project contractor in in the country. At least 70 per cent of asphalt roads in Rwanda have been constructed by Chinese companies, while trade volumes between the two nations reached $321 million as at the end of 2020. Rwandan coffee is increasingly gaining popularity among Chinese consumers thanks to the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP). Rwanda has also become the first African country to export dried chili to China . Over the next five years, Rwanda expects to export 50,000 tons of dried Chili to China.