Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday expressed his government's commitment to strengthening the existing ties with the Chinese government for the mutual benefit of people of the two countries.
Kenyatta made the comment when he bid farewell to outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Liu Guangyuan, in Nairobi. He thanked China for engaging Kenya diplomatically since independence and looked forward to even closer relations for the next 50 years.
"The historical relation between Kenya and China is dated back to 1963 when China became the fourth country to open an embassy in Nairobi," he said in a statement issued after the meeting.
"The contribution of China to Kenya's development agenda is evident everywhere you go in the country," the President said. He cited roads and railways projects as some of the key infrastructural developments that have benefitted immensely from Chinese funding.
Kenyatta said through the Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation, the two countries are addressing trade imbalance by investing more in value addition and capacity building.
He praised China for playing a leading role in regional peace and security, particularly in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
"The President called for closer cooperation with the Chinese Government in the resolution of conflicts and financing of post- conflict reconstruction in Somalia and the horn of Africa," the statement said.
The outgoing ambassador appreciated the support of successive governments in Kenya to the Chinese diplomatic mission.
"The bilateral relations between Kenya and China became stronger during retired President Kibaki's tenure and has been deepened by President Kenyatta's administration," Liu said.
He said the recent visit to China by President Kenyatta cemented further the relations between the two countries.