Chinese nationals in Kenya have been warned of tough punishment if they fail to respect the laws of the country.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng said China was concerned by cases of their citizens’ failure to regulate their behaviour.
He said those found flouting the laws of the land would not only be punished by Kenya but also will face “our own internal measures as China”.
He spoke on Thursday when he met Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen Office in Nairobi.
“Our citizens must respect the rule of law in Kenya. They should do the right thing and get permits and licenses where necessary,” he said.
As an ambassador, Mr Peng explained, he would want to make Kenya-China relations flourish.
“If Kenyans have concerns about the Chinese, let us know; we must follow the order of the locals,” he argued, adding that Chinese should not do the work that can be done by Kenyans.
He said China would not let a few people to cause trouble that may ultimately ruin the cordial relationship.
Lauding the Kenya-China friendship, Dr Ruto said the two countries should inevitably work towards forging a win-win partnership.
The Deputy President said he did not expect the Chinese to engage in activities, such as small businesses, that most Kenyans draw their livelihoods from.
“Kenya is run by the rule of law. We, therefore, expect the Chinese to adhere to them, and where there is lack of clarity, seek guidance from authorities,” added Dr Ruto.
He said China and Kenya share a common development and transformation vision, which is anchored on the Strategic Comprehensive Cooperation Partnership agreement that was signed in 2016.
“This agreement has yielded positive results and has seen high level exchanges between the two countries and cooperation in infrastructure, manpower development, research, ICT, among others,” he added.
The Deputy President asked the business community in Kenya to diversify their trade so as to bridge the negative balance of trade with China.
“Our focus is to enhance market access to China and more foreign direct investments from China to balance the trade,” he noted.
In 2017, the total trade volume between Kenya and China was Sh401 billion. Kenya’s exports to China were valued at Sh10 billion, representing 2.4 per cent while the remainder were Chinese exports to Kenya.
“It is important that the Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Protocols on the 13 remaining products and memorandum of understanding on trade facilitation are implemented to correct the trade imbalance,” said Dr Ruto.