OPINIONS Xi's visit to Rwanda brings historical opportunities for bilateral cooperation


Xi's visit to Rwanda brings historical opportunities for bilateral cooperation

People's Daily online

22:48, July 27, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Rwanda for a two-day state visit on July 22. He was warmly welcomed by the people in the “land of thousand hills” with dances and African drum shows.

It was Xi’s first trip to the African country, and also the first visit paid by a Chinese President to Rwanda.

The two sides drew a blueprint for bilateral friendly cooperation, agreeing to push bilateral cooperation of mutual benefits for more fruitful results, in a bid to bring more welfare to the Chinese, Rwandan and African people. Xi’s visit is believed to be a new milestone in the history of China-Rwanda ties.

Rwanda has set an example for countries who face the similar tasks of national development and rejuvenation in Africa and beyond, said Xi on Rwanda’s development that has drawn worldwide attention.

Thanks to the friendly cooperation between China and Rwanda, people’s livelihood has been tremendously improved. About 70 percent of the highways in Rwanda were paved by Chinese enterprises, and over 600,000 locals received medical services provided by China’s medical teams.

In addition, digital TV services will soon be brought to 300 villages in Rwanda under an ongoing project of providing access to satellite TV to a total of 10,000 Rwandan villages by Chinese government, enriching the cultural life of more than 150,000 rural residents.

Rwanda appreciates China’s valuable assistance over the years in infrastructure, agriculture, education and other areas, said Rwandan President Paul Kagame, adding that the assistance has made positive contributions to rebuilding and developing of the country and improving people’s livelihood. Kagame’s remarks reflected the brotherly friendship toward Chinese people.

The exchange of visits by the two heads of state within slightly over a year since March 2017 indicates the great importance both sides have attached to deepening their ties.

Besides, the Rwandan society hold strong interests in China’s experience on national governance and development. Early this year, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the country’s ruling party, sent three generations of its Political Bureau members to China to learn Chinese experience.

With Rwanda actively implementing its Vision 2020 Umurenge Program and China working toward its two centenary goals, historic opportunities beckon for the two country’s cooperation, said Xi.

During Xi’s visit, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperative agreements on Belt and Road construction and other fields, which has laid a solid foundation for the two sides to deepen future friendly cooperation.

China is willing to work with Rwanda to jointly transform bilateral traditional friendship into concrete benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, and turn a new chapter in their friendly cooperative relations, said Xi, whose words further consolidated people’s confidence on the bright future for China-Rwanda friendship.

The friendship between China and Rwanda is an epitome of the relationship between China and Africa. The two heads of state, in their Kigali meeting, has made a solemn commitment to deepening China-Africa friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation from a strategic and long-term perspective, as Rwanda assumes the rotating presidency of the African Union this year.

Their solemn commitment has built consensus for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled in September, and is expected to push the China-Africa cooperation to a new high.

The decades-old Umuganda culture in Rwanda encourages joint efforts and mutual help for common goals. A Chinese saying contains a similar message, "People with one mind and heart have the power to move a mountain."

Xi’s successful visit to Rwanda is expected to bring China-Rwanda relations on a fast track of development and lift cooperation between the two countries and between China and Africa to a new level. China-Rwanda ties will inject long-lasting power for the building of a closer community with a shared future for China and Africa. 

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