Head of China’s top political advisory body Wang Yang paid an official visit to Uganda from Wednesday to Saturday, calling for closer cooperation between the two countries.
During his four-day stay in the eastern African country, Wang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Speaker of National Assembly of Uganda Rebecca Kadaga and Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, and held talks with Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.
When meeting Museveni, Wang said Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Museveni have met several times and charted course for the future development of bilateral ties. Wang welcomed Museveni to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held this September.
“As the chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, I paid my first visit to Uganda to implement the important consensus reached by both presidents and promote the development of bilateral ties,” Wang said.
China is currently striving for the realization of “Two Centenary Goals” under the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, while Uganda is committed to its national development plan “Uganda Vision 2040,” Wang said, calling on both countries to dovetail their development strategies and cooperate under the framework of the FOCAC and the Belt and Road Initiative.
Calling China and Africa a community with a shared future and shared interests, Wang said China firmly supports African countries’ choices of development paths that are suitable to their national conditions, including that of Uganda.
Hailing the traditional deep-rooted friendship between Uganda and China, Museveni said the older generations of Chinese leadership had always stood together with the Ugandan people in the process of anti-colonial struggles and national independence.
The 10 cooperation projects announced by Xi during the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in December 2015 have provided new opportunities for Uganda to realize economic transition and medium- and long-term development, said Museveni.
Expressing his satisfaction with the Uganda-China cooperation, Museveni said he looks forward to meeting Xi during the FOCAC Beijing Summit to draw the blueprint for the bright future for Africa-China relations.
After the meeting, Wang and Museveni jointly cut the ribbon at a commissioning ceremony of the Kampala-Entebee expressway. Built by a Chinese company, it is Uganda’s first-ever national expressway.
During his talks with Rugunda, Wang said as a good friend, partner and brother of Uganda, China is glad to see progress achieved by Uganda in various areas, which make it well deserve the title of “Pearl of Africa.”
China and Uganda have maintained close exchanges of visits and increased mutual trust, understood and supported one other on issues concerning each other’s core interests as well as major concerns, Wang said, adding that China is happy to see Uganda play an important role in regional affairs.
The economic cooperation between China and Uganda has maintained a robust momentum, with new highlights in the areas of investment and infrastructure construction, he said, calling for more cooperation in areas such as airports, expressways, industrial parks and agriculture so as to lift bilateral ties to a higher level.
Hailing the deep friendship between Uganda and China, Rugunda said his country has gained a lot from its cooperation with China.
Uganda is willing to continue to learn from China to speed up its economic and social development, said Rugunda.
During his meetings with Kadaga and Ssekandi, Wang said the CPPCC stands ready to establish long-term relations with the parliament of Uganda, exchange experience in governance and encourage people-to-people exchanges and cooperation at local levels.
The Ugandan officials spoke highly of China’s progress since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, appreciated China’s assistance to Africa and expressed the willingness to enhance exchanges with the CPPCC so as to consolidate the foundation of Uganda-China friendship.
Wang also had an in-depth exchange of views with Justine Lumumba Kasule, secretary-general of Uganda’s National Resistance Movement, on cooperation in the area of poverty alleviation.
During his four-day stay in Uganda, Wang also visited the Chinese-invested Liaoshen Industrial Park, a Chinese medical team in Kampala and the network operation center of the Uganda National Backbone Infrastructure built by a Chinese telecommunications company.
On Saturday, Wang attended the opening ceremony of a local dragon boat race, a traditional event during China’s Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on June 18 this year.
At the invitation of the Ugandan government, Wang arrived in Kampala on Wednesday from Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo. He will head for Kenya on Saturday to continue his first overseas visit since becoming China’s top political advisor in March.