Spring Festival fete: Chinese envoy commits to strengthen bilateral ties

Thursday night was a special moment for the Chinese diplomats in Rwanda and friends of China.
Delegates at the event in Kigali. Timothy Kisambira.
Delegates at the event in Kigali. Timothy Kisambira.

Thursday night was a special moment for the Chinese diplomats in Rwanda and friends of China.

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, was celebrated at the embassy in Kigali with Chinese ambassador to Rwanda committing to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

Amb. Rao Hongwei reiterated his efforts to take solid steps forward in strengthening practical bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, tourism, education and public health.

“We are expecting more ‘Made in Rwanda’ products on Chinese market. I hope we can bring more flagship projects, create new highlights and deliver more tangible benefits to our two countries and peoples,” he said during the reception at the embassy in Kigali.

Hongwei highlighted that China-Rwanda cooperation has become more tangible with more diversified outcomes, from trade to investment, from public health to education, from tourism to people-to-people exchanges.

“China has remained Rwanda’s largest ICT equipment provider and an important trade partner. Projects like Kigali Urban Road Upgrading and Government Complex went on smoothly,” he said.

He added that about 600 Rwandan students have studied in China while 175 received various professional trainings.

Last week, Rwanda received a Rwf27 billion from the Chinese government which will be used in the expansion of Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Musanze, as well as drilling of over 200 boreholes.

This, Hongwei said, speaks to what could be done in this New Year, adding that there is a great deal of developments to expect in 2018.

The Chinese Spring Festival, better known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, is the most important festival on the Chinese calendar year, and dates back over 4,000 years.

It is the most celebrated and ceremonious festivity in China. Chinese use it as a time for renewal, family reunion and to exchange best wishes.

In Rwanda, the celebration was graced by several dignitaries and members of diplomatic corps.

Early this year, China announced the next Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which will be held in Beijing this year.

The envoy said that China, which remains Africa’s largest trading partner and a major investor for the continent, will work with President Kagame as the chairman of the AU in 2018 to promote mutual interests of the people of China and Rwanda.

“We wish both China and Rwanda can seize new opportunities arising from the AU reform and the FOCAC Summit, adding more dimensions to our cooperation and promoting China-Africa relations to a new high,” he noted.


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