KIGALI, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The China-Rwanda relationship is in a period of fast development, Chinese Ambassador Rao Hongwei told Xinhua in a recent interview, envisaging Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to bring the relationship into a new era.
Xi is to pay a state visit to the country at the invitation of his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame. His visit to Rwanda will be the first ever by a Chinese head of state in history.
The visit is highly expected by the Rwandan people from all walks of life and will strongly accelerate and deepen the development of the bilateral relations between China and Rwanda, Rao said ahead of the visit.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971, the two countries have continuously strengthened their political trust and consolidated the friendship between the two peoples, said the envoy.
Both sides have maintained good coordination in regional and international affairs and have conducted extensive and deep cooperation in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, education and health care, he said.
China is Rwanda's largest trading partner, and it has provided many supports for the country in its process of reconstruction and industrialization.
The Chinese government started to provide scholarships to Rwandan students in 1976, said Rao, adding that Chinese language teaching in Rwanda is developing with a sound momentum.
As for health care, China started to dispatch its medical team to Rwanda in 1982, and there have been hundreds of medical staff working in Rwanda since then.
Since President Kagame's visit to China in March last year, the bilateral relationship between the two countries have entered a period of fast development and the bilateral cooperation have embraced new opportunities, he said.
The two countries have great potentials in synergizing the China-proposed Road and Belt Initiative and Rwanda's national development plan, or Vision 2020, and enhancing their mutually beneficial cooperation, he added.
Over the last two decades, Rwanda has maintained political stability and realized economic development, said the envoy.
Now, it has clean roads, good security, and a favorable business environment, he said.
Rwanda's development not only improves the livelihood of the Rwandan people and gains a reputation for itself in the international community, but also provides investment and business opportunities for foreigners, said Rao.
Rwanda also wants to further promote its tourism industry and attract more Chinese tourists to the country, he added.