Kigali, 23 July 2018
President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame today held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan. The Chinese first couple arrived in the country yesterday for a two-day State Visit aimed to further strengthen diplomatic ties and cooperation between Rwanda and China. This marks the first ever visit by a Chinese President to Rwanda.
The visit follows President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame’s visit to China in March 2017. The two Heads of State held bilateral talks and delivered statements to members of the press.
In his remarks at the conclusion of the bilateral talks, President Kagame expressed his appreciation for the important contribution of China to the development of Rwanda and Africa in many areas.
“We look forward to building more partnerships and gaining from China’s experience and capacity in many fields. I look forward to more cooperation and deepening of our bilateral relationships in different fields of development, working together not only bilaterally but also on the global scene and supporting cooperation between China and Africa. More generally, China relates to Africa as an equal. We see ourselves as a people on the road to prosperity. China’s actions demonstrate, that you see us in the same way. This is a revolutionary posture in world affairs, and it is more precious than money,” President Kagame said.
In his arrival statement, President Xi Jinping pointed out that despite the distance between China and Rwanda, the two countries and peoples have enjoyed a long tradition of deep friendship.
“Through 47 years of our diplomatic ties, our relationship has stood the test of time and international vicissitudes, and has enjoyed sound and steady growth. Treating each other with sincerity as equals, our two sides have made significant progress in the political, economic and people-to-people fields, and enjoyed close communication and coordination in regional and international affairs,” President Xi stated.
President Xi congratulated Rwandans and their leadership for the stability that the country has enjoyed in over the last two decades.
The Chinese first couple also paid their respect to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at the Kigali Genocide Memorial and met with the Chinese community in Rwanda. A State Luncheon was hosted in honour of President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan.
Over the last 12 years, 61 Chinese investment projects and joint ventures worth US$ 419.556 million have been registered. The actual investments are estimated at US$ 352.581 million in tourism, mining and construction sectors.
Rwanda’s National Carrier, RwandAir, is in the process of acquiring the operating permit to fly to China’s economic city of Guangzhou. Flights are expected to commence in February 2019.