Chinese Prime Minister to visit Kenya with largest delegation

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Chinese Prime MinisterChinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang is expected in the country next week accompanied by one of the largest foreign delegations from the Asian nation so far.

Investigations by the Nation revealed that up to 500 leaders of top companies in China will accompany the premier in his first visit to Kenya which will also see the signing of various bilateral deals worth billions.

The move is likely to shake the diplomatic circles with Western nations still avoiding “gloveless” engagements with Kenya, a year after a General Election ushered in a new President into office.

The Foreign Affairs ministry confirmed that the PM is expected to arrive in Nairobi on May 9 from Nigeria. He will then hold talks for three days with several leaders including President Kenyatta.

Government officials in the know revealed that the Chinese delegation will charter separate planes in their major visit to Kenya expected to end on May 12.

And when the Chinese delegation leaves, Ghanain President John Mahama will be arriving for a State visit- the first one by the West African leader who was elected one year ago.

The visit comes at the height of heightened Chinese investment in the country several months after President Kenyatta’s visit to Beijing.

“It is true that there are plans by the Chinese premier to visit Kenya but we will call the press at the right time when everything has been confirmed for now we can’t comment on this matter,” said Mr Mao Yizong the Chief of Information at the Chinese embassy.

Even Kenyan officials did not want to say much about the high profile trip by the Chinese leader to Kenya.

“We are expecting Chinese officials to make a formal announcement regarding the matter this week. We do not want to speculate now,” said State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu.

While in Kenya, the PM is expected to sign a protocol that would help combat trade in game trophies especially elephant tusks, which has recently increased.

PHOTO | WANG ZHAO Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives at the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 3, 2014.

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