The two- day state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Rwanda is nowhere connected to China’s mineral interests, Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda said Rao Hongwei.
“Rwanda is not a rich country in minerals. But China and Rwanda have very good cooperation in other areas,” Ambassador Rao Hongwei said on Monday.
President Jinping will visit Rwanda on July 22 to 23.
There has been criticism especially from the west over China’s thirst for minerals in countries where it invests.
But for Ambassador Hongwei, his President’s visit to Rwanda has a lot more to do with trade, investments; mutual cooperation as well as contributing to security in Africa.
“China- Rwanda friendship is rooted in the basic principles of independence, mutual respect; common mission to promote development and improve people’s livelihood,” Ambassador Hongwei told foreign and local journalists at the Embassy premises in the capital Kigali.
“As the Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, I firmly believe President XI’s upcomig visit will be of historic significance and will bring China -Rwanda relations into a new era.
President Xi’s visit is the first in the history of over 40 years of the two countries’ relations.
Chinese companies have been heavily investing into Rwanda’s untapped opportunities especially in the areas of textile and construction.
According to Ambassador Hongwei, “China’s trade volumes to Rwanda accounted for $157 million in 2017, an increase of 10.94% compared to 2016. Rwanda has been exportig minerals, coffee and tea to China,” he said.
Meanwhile it is expected that Chinese President’s visit will feature signing of several deals, among others.