People-to-people Connectivity
-Reporter’s Diary: Discovery of Belt &Road Initiative

[Source]    People’s Daily [Time]    2018-05-23 08:51:49 

I could hear “Hello” and “Thank you” in Chinese from the locals everyday during the interview in Kenya. Learning and speaking Chinese has become a trend from airport staff, government officials, to stewardesses of the Mombasa Nairobi Railway.

Language is the carrier of culture and a bridge for people of all countries to understand each other. According to Xiao Shan, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi, recent years have seen the increasing needs of the people of Kenya to learn Chinese along the constant development of the economic, trade as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries. In addition to daily Chinese language education, the Confucius Institute also offers special Chinese language training courses to serve tens of thousands of staff members from local airports, customs, immigration office and foreign ministry.

“I love the flourishing seedlings in spring. I love the golden fruits in autumn. I love the firmness of pines. I love the fearlessness of red plums.” Hilda Juma, a student in a red dress was rehearsing the song “I Love You, China” in the hall of the Confucius Institute. Her clear singing attracted a lot of people.

Amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states. Lukaka Jacob, who has studied Chinese for many years, was particularly enchanted by Chinese culture. “The longer I learn Chinese, the more I like Chinese culture.”

Harrison Kidman, a train conductor of the Mombasa Nairobi Railway, once studied Chinese at Shandong Normal University and participated in the training of the Mombasa Nairobi Railway Company after returning to Kenya. He said that the friendly cooperation between Kenya and China enjoy mutually benefit and win-win results. The establishment and investment of Chinese enterprises in Kenya has brought many job opportunities. Kidman has full confidence in his future development and is also looking forward to the prospects of the “Belt and Road” construction in Africa. He said that for many years, Africans have had a dream to connect African countries with railways. Today, the “Belt and Road” is making this dream a reality.

Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, said in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation last year that economic cooperation and political mutual respect are important foundations for Kenya-China cooperation. China has adhered to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith in China-Africa cooperation. All support and help are free from attachment of any political conditions. Raphael Tuju, Secretary General of Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party, said in the interview, “The economic and trade cooperation between China and Kenya is completely equal, mutually beneficial and win-win, while some western countries’ loans and assistance always come with unrealistic preconditions for the development of African countries which will bring about conflicts between cultures and ideas.”

The understanding of China translates into a high recognition of the development path of the country. “China has embarked on a unique path of development.” Raphael Tuju said that the Jubilee Party has been strengthening exchanges with Chinese Communist Party and learning its experience in state governance and administration.

Chris Kubia, Secretary to Raphael Tuju said: “I’m going to the Confucius Institute to learn Chinese next month. We are now having more contacts with China, and I have to beat my colleagues to learning Chinese.”

(Story by Liu Zhonghua, People’s Daily, May 18th, 2018)

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