NAIROBI, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The Maritime Silk Road has opened a new chapter of China-Kenya cooperation, a Chinese diplomat has said.
Guo Ce, Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said in a commentary published in a local daily, The Standard, on Wednesday that a new chapter of China-Kenya cooperation opened as soon as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Beijing as the only Africa president to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
"During the forum, China signed economic and trade cooperation agreements with 68 countries and international organizations, among which are three agreements inked with Kenya, including the Agreement on Technical Cooperation Regarding Offering Grant Aid and the Framework Agreement on Strengthening Cooperation in Production Capacity," Guo said.
In terms of cooperation, the Chinese official noted that the two friendly countries have together carried on the Silk Road spirit of "peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit".
In May, the bilateral cooperation between China and Kenya was lifted to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The presidents of the two nations have also agreed to press on with the construction of roads and ports and the integration of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway project, Mombasa Port Terminal and Mombasa Special Economic zone.
He said that further and deeper synergy of Kenya's national development strategy with the Belt and Road Initiative will strengthen mutual and pragmatic cooperation, bringing along a bright future for common development and more tangible benefits to people of both countries.
The friendship between China and Kenya dates back more than 600 years when Zheng He, the great navigator of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, set foot on the eastern coast of Kenya.
In 1415, Zheng arrived at Malindi and took back to China a giraffe, which was then taken as a resemblance to the Chinese mythological beast "Kylin", symbolizing auspice and royalty.
Since then, Zheng's fleet has repeatedly visited Kenya and other parts of Africa to spread the "blessing of peace" from the ancient China.
Guo noted that in 2013, Presidents Xi Jinping and Uhuru Kenyatta jointly announced the initiation of the China-Kenya Comprehensive Partnership.
"Over the past four years, the economic and trade cooperation between China and Kenya has become deeply interwoven and achieved unprecedented historic heights," he added.
Currently, China is the largest trading partner, contractor, the largest loan provider and the fastest-growing source of overseas tourists to Kenya.
According to the Chinese official, Kenya has also managed to attract most of China's investments among Africa countries.