Rwanda, China to Further Promote Cooperation: Rwandan President

Rwanda and China are to further promote their cooperation in the future, especially in the fields of trade and investment, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said prior to his coming visit to China in mid-November.

In a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua at his office, Kagame reviewed with satisfaction the rapid growth of bilateral relations, saying that Rwanda and China have been maintaining a good relationship and supporting each other in many areas over the past 30 years, which he said provides "a good background" for future development.

On infrastructure development, he noted that China constructed and rehabilitated the Amahoro National Stadium in Rwanda's capital Kigali, a hospital in Kibungo Province and a number of roads in different parts of the country, all of which have contributed immensely to the welfare of the Rwandan people.

In the agricultural sector, Kagame said that China has also rendered significant support to Rwanda by sending experts on rice plantations and developing irrigation schemes in his country.

However, he lamented that Rwanda's agricultural sector still lags behind, noting that 90 percent of the country's working population are employed in the agricultural sector yet most of them are still using traditional tools, such as hoes.

"China instead has good experience and expertise in agricultural development, because agriculture in China has been modernized," Kagame said. "It can help us realize agricultural

modernization and develop good agriculture."

During the 50-minute interview, he repeatedly stressed "good agriculture", saying that this sector is of great importance since it provides a livelihood to the majority of the people.

To enhance the current bilateral relations, the 44-year-old Rwandan leader said, Rwanda and China are also looking at other areas with a potential for cooperation, and the focus is to fall on the fields of trade and investment.

This is due to the fact that the increasing of trade and investment will boost the economic development of both countries, which, as a result, will lay a good foundation for further development, Kagame explained.

The Rwandan president said that Rwanda is seeking investment, trade and partnership particularly in the textile industry, manufacture of construction materials and pharmaceuticals.

"Once our partnership has a good footing, it can really spin into other areas, and the list of potential areas of cooperation is really endless," he said, noting that boom of trade and investment will lead to the development of other areas, such as improving of people's living standard and human rights.

Talking about his forthcoming visit to China, Kagame said that he will stop over at Hongkong, which returned to China in 1997 under late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's theory of "one country, two systems".

The Rwandan leader said that his government will continue its unwavering support for the one China policy.

"In Rwanda, we only know of one China, and we cherish our good relationship with China and the Chinese people," he emphasized.

On the current international anti-terrorism campaign, the president said that the response of the international community has been "correct and swift" after the September 11 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York in the United States.

To root out terrorism, the measures should be "consistent", he emphasized.

Meanwhile, the president said, since terrorism has many forms, "the world needs to be united in dealing with terrorism and whether in Africa, America, Europe or China, terrorism must be dealt with seriously".

"In Rwanda, we have been victims of a different type of terrorism in the form of genocide. In three months during 1994, over 1 million of our people died as a result of this form of terrorism," he said.

Kagame, who visited China in 1995 as vice-president, said that he is looking forward to his forthcoming trip to witness "many great changes and developments" in China.

"We are also looking for partners in trade and investment," he said, disclosing that he will have a big delegation with him and welcome more Chinese investors to come to Rwanda.

At the invitation of Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Kagame will pay a visit to China from November 11 and attend events celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of

diplomatic relations between the two countries.

People's Daily Online ---