PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan and Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday agreed to expand Sino-Tanzania cooperation in the fields of agriculture, transport, telecommunications, tourism, energy and investment.
The two leaders also expressed willingness to actively promote bilateral ties under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
In a telephone conversation with President Samia, Xi said relations between the two countries face historic opportunities, adding that Beijing will encourage Chinese investors to opt for Tanzania.
President Samia, on her side, reaffirmed Tanzania’s willingness to actively promote cooperation with China under the BRI, implement outcomes of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China- Africa Cooperation, and push for greater development of China-Africa ties.
“Tanzania values its friendship with China and appreciates China's support and help over a long period of time,” she said, assuring the country’s commitment to continue strengthening further the existing bilateral ties.
President Samia also extended her congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), hailing China's remarkable achievements under the leadership of the CPC.
President Samia further stressed that Tanzania firmly adheres to the one-China policy and supports China's stance on issues concerning its core interests, including issues related to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang.
Proposed by President Xi in 2013, the BRI comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims at building a trade and infrastructure network that connects Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
President Xi assured Tanzania that Beijing would support Tanzania’s investment drive, by encouraging more Chinese companies to come and invest in the East African nation.
He went on to underscore the long standing ties between China and Tanzania, saying the latter was the first African country that he visited after taking the Presidential role in 2013.
“China is willing to strengthen political mutual trust with Tanzania and jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, '' he said.
Earlier this month, President Xi commended his Tanzanian counterpart, for her continued efforts to implement strategic development projects as well as creating a favorable investment climate in the country.
He was also positive that President Samia will implement effectively the projects initiated by her predecessor, the late Dr Magufuli, as well as taking scientific models of facing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two countries have enjoyed a cordial relationship that dates back from the days of the generation of leadership of the founding fathers of these nations, namely the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere and Abeid Karume on the part of Tanzania; Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and later Supreme Leader Deng Xioping on the part of China. Tanzania is China's largest aid recipient country in Africa.
The Sino-Tanzania relation has seen the Asian giant supports the former’s infrastructure development, improvement of social services delivery, as well as trade and investments.
Some of the recent projects implemented under China support include the construction of a state of the art library at the University of Dar es Salaam and issuance of 35bn/- aid for financing development projects.
Available statistics show that in 2019, the bilateral trade volumes between Tanzania and China was recorded to the tune of 9.1tri/-, equivalent to 3.976 billion US dollars.