President William Ruto is set to foster Kenya’s diplomatic ties with China despite fears of scaling down relations between the two countries.
National Assembly speaker, Moses Wetangula, on Friday, September 23 disclosed Ruto’s plans to better Kenya’s relationship with China while allaying reports alleging that the President would cut off the Asian nation.
Wetangula made the remarks after meeting China’s ambassador to Kenya, Zhou Pingjian, at Parliament buildings.
China, the speaker stated, is a big investor in Kenya and it would help the country attain its development agenda.
Speaker Moses Wetangula and Ambassador Zhou Pingjian on September 22, 2022.
Moses Wetangula “China is one of the most important national development partners for Kenya and has in the last decade extended considerable support to our infrastructure development.
“Assured him that the new administration of President William Ruto has no plans whatsoever to scale down our collaboration with the Republic of China,” read the statement in part.
Further, he added that the NA would take steps in fostering the relationship between the two countries through legislative cooperation.
“We shall continue to pursue robust engagements and exchange of high-level visits to enhance our relations.
Earlier, after his inauguration on September 13, Ruto met with Beijing’s special representative on African affairs Liu Yuxi and noted that the two countries’ partnership in infrastructure, agriculture and education would stay.
Kenya’s relationship with China was among the major agendas that dominated the Kenya Kwanza campaigns with calls to scale down its relationship. Kenya Kwanza accused China of stifling Kenya’s economic growth with loans.
China was one of the biggest lenders to former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government, with Kenya’s debt hitting Ksh8 trillion during Jubilee’s regime.
“We know the owners of the newly constructed Nairobi Expressway. We are telling the Chinese government that we will hold you and your companies to account. Any government that gives loans and debts in the next two months, you are violating the constitution,” Garissa Town MP Aden Duale stated.
The sentiments did not sit well with officials in Beijing given the numerous investments the country made in Kenya.
Projects that have been undertaken by China include the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Nairobi Expressway.
Nairobi Expressway project near Chiromo Road interchange