This bilateral relations date back to 14 December 1963, two days after the formal establishment of Kenyan independence, when China became the fourth country to open an embassy in Nairobi. Military exchange between the two countries has been increasing in the past decade. General Liu Jingsong, commander of the Lanzhou Military Region, led China's first military delegation to Kenya in December 1996; Major General Nick Leshan, commander of the Kenyan air force, paid a return visit in 1997. Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki visited Beijing in August 2005.
In 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta visited China. He held talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jingping. Kenya and China ended up signing deals worth (US$5 billion).
The Premier of China, Li Keqiang visited Nairobi on his 2014 Africa tour. He and President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of 17 multi-billion deals to fund multiple infrastructural projects and various agreements. This included the establishment of a China-Africa Development Bank.
Early in 2006 Chinese President Hu Jintao signed an oil exploration contract with Kenya; the latest in a series of deals designed to expand Chinese overseas economic engagement with Africa. The deal allowed for China's state-controlled offshore oil and gas company, CNOOC Ltd., to prospect for oil in Kenya, which is just beginning to drill its first exploratory wells on the borders of Sudan and Somalia and in coastal waters. No oil has been produced yet, and there has been no formal estimate of the possible reserves.
Chinese development finance to Kenya
From 2000 to 2011, there are approximately 65 Chinese official development finance projects identified in Kenya through various media reports. These projects range from a 108 million USD grant from Chinese government to build the North and East Ring Road sections in Nairobi, to a concessional loan to finance the construction of the Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital Project in 2011.
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- "China to promote cooperation with Kenya: Chinese premier". People's Daily. 2005-08-19. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- "Kenya's Kenyatta and China's Xi sign $5bn deals". BBC. 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
- "Kenya signs 17 multi-billion deals with China". Business Daily. 2014-05-10. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
- Barber, Lionel; Andrew England (August 10, 2006). "China's scramble for Africa finds a welcome in Kenya". Financial Times. Retrieved 2008-06-27.
- Onyango, Jim; Allan Odhiambo (2007-10-30). "Kenya: Attention Shifts to China After Latest Catch". Business Daily, Nairobi. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Austin Strange, Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney, Andreas Fuchs, Axel Dreher, and Vijaya Ramachandran. 2013. China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection. CGD Working Paper 323. Washington DC: Center for Global Development.http://china.aiddata.org
- Strange, Parks, Tierney, Fuchs, Dreher, and Ramachandran, China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection.http://aiddatachina.org/projects/202
- Strange, Parks, Tierney, Fuchs, Dreher, and Ramachandran, China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection.http://aiddatachina.org/projects/1290