President Kikwete and President Hu Jintao

President Kikwete and President Hu Jintao

President Kikwete and President Hu Jintao on the occasion of the Chinese leader’s visit to Dar-es-Salaam in February 2009

Needless to say, considering the good relations that have existed between Tanzania and China for over 45 years, when President Hu Jintao planned his second visit to Africa, Tanzania, was on the itinerary – together with Senegal, Mali and Mauritius.

“Our relationship with Tanzania can be viewed as an exemplary relationship of sincerity, solidarity and cooperation” said President Hu. President Kikwete said Tanzania and China enjoyed a special relationship, which was initiated by the previous leaderships of both nations. The visitor was accorded a 21-gun salute before inspecting a guard of honour at the welcoming ceremony at the Karimjee Hall. A large number of Tanzanians greeted the Chinese leader by playing drums and trumpets, clapping their hands and waving flags.
Major streets of Dar es Salaam were also festooned with the national flags of both countries and banners that read ‘Welcome President Hu’ and ‘Long Live China-Tanzania Friendship.’ Some local people wore costumes and shirts featuring Hu’s picture.

In his speech President Hu said he appreciated Tanzania’s efforts to ensure the smooth relay of the Olympic torch when it was in Dar es Salaam last year (see TA 90) as well as its adherence to the ‘One-China’ policy. The Chinese President brought a $21.95million aid gift with him and said his government would invite young Tanzanians to visit China and would offer more scholarships. On the global financial crisis, he said China would keep its promise not to reduce aid to Africa – Guardian.

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