President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has applauded China for always respecting Uganda’s sovereignty in all aspects of life.
Museveni won Sunday met and held talks with a representative from his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, delivered a message from President Jinping.
Speaking during the meeting, Museveni said unlike “some other countries) China has continued to respect Uganda’s sovereignty, no matter the situation.
“In his message today he(Jinping) explained the importance of respect of the sovereignty of other countries and we appreciate that. That is exactly our stand. We have been telling some people that if you don’t take your own stand, you are likely to make mistakes,”Museveni said on Sunday.
The relationship between Uganda and China has in the past few years grown partly because of the latter’s political non-interference policy in other country’s affairs and the same has been welcomed by the Ugandan government.
Uganda has however on the other side blasted the West for interfering with the country’s affairs.
Whereas the Western governments claim violation of human rights, the Ugandan government has described them as meddling into the country’s affairs and this has been a point of contention between the two.
Speaking to the Chinese president’s representative on Sunday, Museveni said the relationship between China and Africa started way back in 1949 when the Communist Party came to power and started supporting African freedom fighters.
“Therefore our cooperation is more than 70 years old working with our elders like Nkrumah and Nasser and the subsequent generations of African leaders. We are very happy with the Chinese solidarity,”Museveni said.
Speaking during the meeting, the Chinese President representative said this was his fourth time visiting Uganda, noting that each time he has enjoyed the visits.
“Under your(Museveni) leadership, the people of Uganda have discovered a development path suited to their own national conditions. Uganda is a country that has long enjoyed stability and progress in economic and social development. The lives of people have continuously improved,” Yang said on Sunday.
The Chinese President’s representative also hailed Uganda under the leadership of President Museveni for her efforts in brokering peace in the region.
“Uganda has played an important role in the peace, stability and development of this region. Your re-election last month speaks volumes on the trust the people have in you and to your continued presidency.”
Uganda was the first country to send peace-keeping troops under the AMISOM to Somalia in 2007 whereas Uganda also brokered the peace deal for South Sudan.
The Chinese president envoy said both Uganda and China have enjoyed close ties that he said will continue.
“Both countries have reached many common grounds in terms of cooperation and other issues of mutual interest. Our bilateral ties have rapidly grown in the recent years. Our cooperation in various fields has enjoyed strong momentum.”
He noted that since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, both countries have supported each other in the trying times of the pandemic.
“President Jinping said China attaches great importance to the ties with Uganda and will work with Uganda to deepen the political mutual ties and intensify coordination in international affairs to deliver more benefits to our countries and people.”
President Museveni said during the meeting both leaders discussed the issue of funding the Standard Gauge Railway, Sukuru phosphate factory in Tororo district and Uganda’s export of agricultural products to China.
“I want to express appreciation for the donation of COVID-19 testing kits and COVID-19 vaccines and further cooperation in developing our own vaccine capacities here.”
The relations between Uganda and China have in the past 10 years continued to blossom with the volume of more than quadrupled from $230 million in 2008 to over $1 billion in 2018 but of these, China’s exports to Uganda are majority at about $850 million.
The major exports to Uganda from China include machinery and electrical equipment, whereas Uganda exports hides, skins, oils and seeds but also the East African country is a big market for many Chinese businesses both state-owned and private as they manufacture electronics, clothes, water and many others.
China has also provided a number of loans to Uganda to help finance her infrastructural development projects including roads and dams among others.