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Strengthening Bilateral Relations As Chinese Embassy Welcomes Defence Attache

by Vincent Gasana
11:25 am

On the face of it, it was just a pleasant evening, a reception to welcome the appointment of a military attache between two friendly nations. But inevitably perhaps, there were resonances with not only bilateral relations, but international relations and geopolitics.

Perhaps because they quietly go about their work with little fanfare, it is often all too easy to forget how long China has had established relations with different African nation.

China and Rwanda, first established diplomatic connection, more than fifty years ago, in 1971, and it is fair to say, that relations between the two nations have never been closer, or more meaningful.

The posting of navy Capatain Li Dayi, as military attache, at the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, will no doubt be seen by both countries, as having been long overdue.

For ambassador Wang Xuekun, the evening was to welcome Captain Dayi, but also an opportunity to once again celebrate the bond between China and Rwanda, the cooperation between the two countries’ militaries, and to foster closer understanding amongst the military attaches serving in Rwanda.

“We hold this reception today, not only to warmly welcome and introduce Defence Attache Li Dayi,” the ambassador said, in his welcome remarks, “but also to promote exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese and Rwanda militaries, and to deepen understanding and friendship with defence attaches posted to Rwanda…”

“The establishment of China’s Defence Attache office in Rwanda, is a landmark event in China-Rwanda relations” added the ambassador, “which reflects that the friendly cooperative relations between the two countries is advancing to a new level.”

“In the recent years, the two countries have continued to exchange high-level visits…Remarkable results have been achieved in practical cooperation in various realms. These years have also witnessed increasingly frequent people to people and cultural exchanges between our two countries. Our bilateral relations are showing a good momentum of development.”

The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) high command, was represented by the Commandant of the RDF General Head Quarters, Major-General Jean Baptiste Ngiruwonsanga, who echoed the sentiments expressed by the ambassador.

“The deployment of the defence attache, is another step forward towards strengthening defence cooperation and collaboration between our defence forces. Through the existing cordinal relations, the Chinese government provides support in capacity building for RDF personnel through education and training. Since 2007, the Chinese People Liberation Army, has been an education and training source to RDF personnel in various fields…”

“Under bilateral defence cooperation arrangements, more than 300 RDF personnel, including Generals, officers, and non commissioned officers have graduated from Chinese academic and training institutions…The Rwanda Defence Force greatly appreciates the community of defence attaches to Rwanda, for their good work, and I wish all the best to the new Chinese defence attache…”

Captain Li, arrives in Rwanda, with a wealth of experience, both in the diplomatic and in the military field, where he has been for much of his adult life. He has previously served as China’s deputy defence attache in Liberia and Italy. From the navy, he also served in the Ministry of Defence of the People’s Liberation Army.

“I am pleased and honoured to be the first Defence Attache of China in the land of a thousand Hills, where diligence and wisdom exist side by side. And I can trully feel the enthusiasm of all of you, for China and the People’s Liberation Army. declared Captain Li in his own remarks.

“China’s national defence construction and development has always been geared toard meeting the legitimate needs of its own security, and has always been a growing force for peace in the world.”
Quoting the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, the Captain asserted that China would not visit on others, what it itself suffered.

“Confucius said, ‘do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.’ Since modern times, the Chinese people have suffered greatly from invasion and wars, and are keenly aware of the sanctity of national sovereignty and territorial integrity…”

Promoting global peace, was a theme that ran through ambassador Wang Xuekun’s own remarks.

“China firmly follows the path of peaceful development and is committed to safeguarding world peace and security. In 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping, proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which embodies the core essence of the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind…China standds stands ready to work with other countries in the world to implement GSI, solve the security challenges facing humanity, and move towards a better tomorrow of lasting peace and universal security…”

The new defence attache, seems to have hit the ground running, meeting the officials in the RDF, and making contact with other members in the defence attache corps.

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