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Sunday, March 24, 2013

China’s President makes historical visit to Tanzania






China’s President makes historical visit to

 Tanzania


By TAGIE DAISY MWAKAWAGO

As the climax of the Golden Jubilee celebration of the relations between Tanzania and China nears, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China later today is expected to make his first State Visit in Tanzania, since he assumed his Presidency earlier this month. 

The visit is forecasted to further cement historical foundation of nearly fifty years' friendship that had existed between the two countries since the era of the Late Founders of both countries, the Late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere of then Tanganyika and the Late Mao Zedong of China. 

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania is expected to receive his counterpart President of China at the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam today, whereby official talks will follow later in the evening at the State House. 

President Xi Jinping formerly assumed his Presidency on March 13, 2013 by China’s National Legislature, giving him the three titles held by his predecessor, Hu Jintao.  The three titles apart from being President, are that he will also serve as a Head of the Communist Party and a Chairman of China’s military.

Speaking before members of the media, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Hon. Bernard K. Membe (MP), said that this is an historical visit as China has been a close friend and a good partner of Tanzania for nearly fifty years.  Tanzania and China have been historical friendly allies since their signing of the Treaty of Friendship in February 1965.

“China is ranked as one of the top foreign investors in Tanzania’s national economy, and is expected to enter into further cooperative agreements with Tanzania in the sectors of agriculture, industries, energy and infrastructure,” said Hon. Membe. 

During his State Visit, President Xi Jinping also is expected to make his first international speech aims at highlighting Chinese Foreign Policy, in particular, the Afro-Sino future relations.  The China’s new stand on Afro-Sino relations is anxiously awaited due to recent first speech made by President Jinping’s as China’s new president whereby he promised his citizens to pursue a “great renaissance of the Chinese nation” and to deliver a more equitable society and a more effective, less corrupt government.

Since in the 1960s, China has contributed significant aid towards Tanzania that included the built of Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA), Friendship Textile Mill, Mubarali Rice Farm, Kiwira Coal Mine and Mahonda Sugar Cane Factory.  Further, Chinese Government has also cooperated with Tanzania in development projects in sectors of trade and agriculture, including the current project-building of the Convention Centre dedicated to the Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.  The two Governments have cooperated in many areas that include economy, trade, culture, education, health, and whereby Chinese investors have grown interest to invest in the extraction of natural resources particularly natural gas and oil in Tanzania.

The Tanzania-Chinese relation has grown profoundly for a decade since China established diplomatic relations with Tanganyika and Zanzibar on December 9, 1961 and December 11, 1963 respectively.  The political, economic and cultural relations have grown and prosper throughout the years to effect significant exchange of official visits between the two countries.  Since his Presidency, the Founder of then Tanganyika, the Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere had visited China five times, including other Leaders such as former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi, former President Benjamin William Mkapa, President Kikwete when he was a Minister for Foreign Affairs and many others.  For Chinese Government, the officials visited Tanzania included Premier Zhou Enlai, Premier Zhao Ziyang, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu last year 2012 and several Foreign Ministers that included Hon. Tang Jiaxuan.

During his two-days State Visit, President Xi Jinping is expected to officiate the formal hand over ceremony of the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC), which was built by the Chinese Government and thereafter he will participate in a lay of a wreath ceremony at the Chinese Experts Cemetery at Majohe Village in Ukonga, Dar es Salaam.  

President Xi Jinping is expected to travel to South Africa on Monday evening 25 March 2013, upon the end of his State Visit here in Tanzania.


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