Kenya, China MPs virtually meet, to deepen ties

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Kenyan and Chinese lawmakers have resolved to give legislative support to issues that would strengthen bilateral ties between the nations.

The group held a virtual conference under the Kenya-China Inter-Parliamentary Exchange Mechanism, resolving to collaborate on matters Covid-19 response.

They also explored areas of cooperation in the formulation of economic recovery strategies post-pandemic, while addressing the huge trade imbalance between the two countries.

National Assembly deputy speaker Moses Cheboi led the Kenyan delegation in the meeting with the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.

 The delegation from China was led by Wang Chen, the vice chairperson of the NPC Standing Committee, the meeting being the second of such engagement.

The legislators also discussed strengthening Kenya-China relations under the framework of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, a multilateral cooperation between China and African countries and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Cheboi expressed his appreciation for the prevailing strong and sustained parliamentary relations between the two legislatures.

He emphasised that the diplomatic relation between Kenya and China dated back to December 1963 when China opened their embassy in Nairobi.

The inter-parliamentary exchanges provide a great opportunity to share on legislative and policy areas that the two legislatures can improve on.

Cheboi said that as a result of the deepening relations, China has continued to support Kenya’s national development agenda through extensive infrastructure development.

“The Nairobi Expressway is one of the key projects that will not only ease traffic congestion but improve trade and development,” the Kuresoi North MP said.

He further expressed gratitude on behalf of the government of Kenya for the support extended by the People’s Republic of China in the form of protective equipment and debt restructuring.

Cheboi proposed the formulation of a program by the Kenya-China Parliamentary Friendship Group where parliamentary officials will have an opportunity to discuss and exchange views on procedural, administrative and research services.

Chen, for his part, reaffirmed the commitment of the Chinese government in maintaining the strong and unbreakable China- Kenya friendship at the various arms of government.

He expressed gratitude on behalf of the Chinese Government of the support Kenya offered the citizens of China when China was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

“The world is experiencing many challenges arising from the global pandemic thus the need for countries to stay together to build peace and prosperity in the face of the pandemic,” Cheng said.

He submitted that the Chinese Government has cooperated with Kenya on vaccination in order to combat Covid-19.

Other members of the Kenyan delegation to the forum pointed out that there is need for international cooperation in the global governance of public health.

Those who attended the meeting include Igembe North MP Maoka Maore, Kisumu East’s Shakeel Shabbir (chair, Kenya-China Friendship Group), and Kajiado South’s Katoo ole Metito (chairperson, Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations).

Also present were MPs Robert Pukose (Endebess), Esther Passaris (Nairobi), Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga WR), Sophia Abdi Noor (Ijara), Martin Owino (Awendo), Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache), Muriuki Njagagua (Runyenjes), Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale) and Nominated MPs Jacqueline Oduol and Gideon Keter.

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