|Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Chinese Xi Jinping during the signing of bilateral agreements in Kigali on July 23, 2018.|
The Chinese leader paid a two-day State visit to Kigali that began on Sunday.
At a press conference on Monday, President Xi said he has witnessed “first-hand a vibrant and well organised country that is making good progress in its development.
“The country enjoys social harmony and stability and its people are leading a happy and content life.”
He said China was looking to build “mutually beneficial relations” with Rwanda and other African countries.
“I am here this time with the aim of consolidating tradition friendship between China and Rwanda and to work together with Mr President [Paul Kagame] to plan for the future of our bilateral relations, as well as the cooperation between China and Africa,” he said.
“We want to see that our mutually beneficial relations can yield more fruit and that our people and the people in Africa can have more gains.”
The two leaders signed some 15 agreements in Kigali worth millions of dollars on trade, infrastructure, investment, e-commerce, human resource, culture, science and technology, aviation, mining, law enforcement, visa exemption for diplomatic and service passport holders, among others.
President Kagame said Mr Xi’s visit has deepened ties with Rwanda and strengthened its involvement with the African continent an outcome he said is evidenced by the deals signed between Rwanda and China.
China will also fund the expansion of Chinese-built Masaka District Hospital in Kigali, and extend concessional loans for the construction of the 66km Huye-Kibeho-Munini road in Southern Province and the Bugesera International Airport access road project.
The leader of the Asian superpower said his country is seeking a new order in international relations that are “more equitable and just”.
President Xi added that his country recognises the process of reforming the African Union led by Mr Kagame who is its current chairman.
“For the past decades, China and African countries have been treating each other with sincerity, friendship and pursuing solidarity and cooperation. We are bound by the community of shared future and common interest to grow our solidarity and cooperation with Africa as an important foundation for China’s foreign policy and China’s longstanding and unwavering strategic voice,” he said.
He said that China supports Africa’s unified efforts that will lead to home-grown sustainable development for the continent and that the Asian country is looking to align its own development with that of Africa for a win-win cooperation.
“The President and I have had an in-depth and frank discussion on China-Rwanda relations, the Beijing Summit of FOCAC (Forum for China-Africa Cooperation) and other international and regional issues of our mutual interest,” Mr Xi said.
The Summit will be held in September.
The Chinese leader began his African tour last week in Senegal. Rwanda is the second country he visited and will be heading to Johannesburg on Tuesday for the BRICS Summit comprised of emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
He will thereafter visit Mauritius.
China has, however, in recent decades come under heavy criticism for what observers say is plundering of Africa’s natural resources and tying African countries to high interest loans.