President Xi Jinping arrives in Rwanda
Written by: George Kalisa
Sunday, July 22nd, 2018, 9:15
Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived today in Rwanda for a two- day state visit. This is the first visit ever by a Chinese leader. President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame received him at the Kigali International Airport as he alighted Boeing 747a few minutes to 9pm local time. The Chinese President was accompanied by the First Lady Peng Liyuan.
Rwanda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olivier Nduhungirehe told this reporter shortly before President Xi Jinping’s arrival that the visit is historic and a demonstration of the scale of cooperation between China and the East African nation.
“The visit of President Xi Jinping of China is a historic visit visit as it would be the very first visit of a Chinese President to Rwanda,” said Nduhungirehe in an interview.
“The visit will take place following other high level visits between the two countries, including a visit of President Kagame to China in March 2017, a visit of Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Rwanda in January 2018. In September, President Kagame will go back to Beijing to attend the Summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)” he added.
“This shows how the bilateral relations and cooperation have new heights. During this state visit by President Xi Jinping, fifteen agreements and projects will be signed to widen our cooperation,” said the State Minister.
An MoU on visa exemption in the diplomatic and service circles is anticipated to be one of the pact.
His visit will cement diplomatic relations and deepen economic cooperation between China and Rwanda. In recent years, China is one of the main development partners of Rwanda in health, construction and education.
Senegal was Xi’s first leg of his African tour. From Rwanda President Xi will head South Africa before he continues to Mauritius.
Aside from holding a joint press conference with his counterpart, President Xi will visit Kigali Genocide Memorial.
The Chinese government boasts of more than 21 investment projects worth US$420 million in Rwanda.