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Anchor raised on new leg of long voyage

2014-05-12 11:29 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

The visit of Premier Li Keqiang to Kenya, part of a trip that also takes in Angola, Ethiopia and Nigeria, holds great significance for both China-Kenya and China-Africa relations.  [Special coverage]

Fifty years ago, the late Chinese premier Zhou Enlai visited 10 African countries and put forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Eight Principles of Foreign Aid, mapping out the guidelines of China's policy toward other developing countries, Africa included, and opening a new chapter of China-Africa relations.

Over the past 50 years, custodianship of the China-African friendship has been passed from generation to generation, China and Africa standing together through thick and thin, and supporting each other in even the most trying of circumstances.

Li's visit is important because it will be his first to Africa as premier and the first visit to Kenya by a Chinese premier in more than 10 years. As a result, collaboration, cultural and economic exchanges and political trust between the two countries can only grow, which marks out the visit as historic.

China and Kenya are, of course, geographically far apart, but they are well connected, politically, economically, culturally and technologically. The friendship and collaboration they enjoy is treasured by the people of both nations.

Kenya is one of the coastal countries of the MaritimeSilk Road. About 600 years ago, the Chinese navigator Zheng He visited Kenya four times during his seven voyages to the western oceans, and myriad are the legends that have been passed down to us about them. Since China and Kenya established diplomatic ties 50 year ago, the two have enjoyed numerous great achievements, on the basis of equality and mutual trust.

Last August, President Uhuru Kenyatta chose China as the destination of his first overseas state visit, during which he and President Xi Jinping decided to set up a China-Kenya comprehensive cooperative partnership. In December, China and Kenya celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties. Early this year, the Chinese navy escort fleet visited Mombasa, the first to Kenya since China started its escort missions in Somali waters at the end of 2008.

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