Why China’s ‘soft power’ approach appeals to Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at State House in Nairobi May 10, 2014 after addressing journalists. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

What you need to know:

  • But the Chinese premier, a trained economist and one of the key figures behind Beijing’s economic policy, has come to Nairobi waving the Chinese dream and ebullient about a shared future with Kenya, and Africa at large.
  • Today the movers and shakers in Nairobi are enchanting “a journey of friendship and co-operation” with China, and their Chinese counterparts envisioning “a China-Kenya voyage to a shared vision”.

It is tempting to view Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s trip to Nairobi as the long-awaited “white smoke” confirming East Africa’s economic powerhouse as a pivotal state in the African strategy of China, now widely touted by some pundits as the “second superpower”.


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