VILLAGE URUGWIRO - Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, paid a courtesy call to President Paul Kagame at Urugwiro Village yesterday afternoon from where he called for a boost in the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the meeting, Jiechi, who arrived in the country yesterday morning for a two-day State visit extolled Kagame’s role in promoting the present “friendly” Rwanda-China relations.
“I paid high tribute to the President’s attendance and participation in the China-Africa cooperation summit back in 2006,” he said.
“I also paid high tribute to his State visit to China in 2007. Because of that visit, our leaders have reached a consensus on a variety of areas of cooperation,” he said, adding that both countries would now like to maintain high-level visits to exchange views.
Jiechi also expressed China’s wish to further promote trade and economic cooperation with “this great country” and underlined a desire to encourage Chinese companies to come and invest in Rwanda.
The two countries’ relations date back as far as 1971 and China has been assisting Rwanda in various areas since.
China sponsored the construction of Bugarama cement factory, a hospital in Ngoma district in the east, Kinyinya-Nyarutarama and Kinyinya-Utexrwa roads in Kigali, as well the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building whose inauguration ceremony Jiechi duly attended after meeting Kagame.
The country also gives scholarships to Rwandan students and, under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and “envisions” funding other projects, including the construction of a 100-150 bed polyclinic in Kigali, an agricultural demonstration centre and a malaria prevention and treatment facility.
Last year China’s contribution to Rwanda development was valued at USD 7,800,000 and is expected to increase this year.
“We hope that the projects can proceed very smoothly, come to good conclusion and we have pledged our best efforts,” Jiechi said.
“We also believe that it’s important to have more Rwandan students coming to study in China,” he said, promising to continue offering more scholarships and, increase cooperation with Rwanda on many regional and international issues.
“The President expressed very important views on how to further promote the relationship and I was deeply impressed by his sincerity and broad vision…I will report to my leaders.”
Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali, who also attended the Chinese top diplomat’s meeting with the President, underlined that Rwanda-China relations have been growing “from strength to strength, year by year.”
“We want to commit to continue working on them and improving them,” she pointed out.
Apart from delivering the new Minaffet structure, a multi-million complex worth USD 8,940,000, the Chinese Minister also inaugurated the new Chinese Embassy in Kigali.