China is keen to expand its aid to Africa particularly targeting the troublesome health sector in 2017. In a work report delivered by Beijing's top political advisory body during the official opening of the Chinese People Political Consultative Conference - CPPCC, President Xi Jingpin's government will continue to promote high level exchange with foreign partners.

Speaking at the grand opening of the 2017 CPPCC session on Friday at the Great Hall of the People, the National Committee chairman Yu Zhengsheng stated that "the China Economic and Social Council will carry out exchange and cooperation with relevant foreign institutions and international organisations on a wide range of issues."

In this regard, Mr. Yu disclosed that Beijing "will offer suggestions on improving and strengthening China's medical assistance efforts in Africa."

The expected heavy investments in the health sector notwithstanding, infrastructure development, it appears, will continue to take centre stage in Beijing's engagement with the continent.

The detailed report indicated that "China will strengthen the cultural foundations for joint efforts to build the Belt and Road Initiative and on promoting deeper mutual opening up at a higher level."

Belt and Road initiative is a strategy proposed by President Xi Jinping which focuses on connectivity between China and key strategic partners to broaden and ease trade.

Massive investments in this venture across 53 countries where it is being implemented, Kenya included, has hit hundreds of billions of US dollars.

Kenya's Standard Gauge Railway - SGR, running from the seaside city of Mombasa to Naivasha is nearing completion even as President Uhuru Kenyatta expresses confidence the first coach will cruise the rail tracks beginning June this year.

Speaking recently after carrying out an inspection of the railway line, Kenyatta said the modern railway will boost the economy

Kenya's SGR sits at the centre of a comprehensive plan that will eventuality link Mombasa to other major East and Central African cities.

To this end, Yu said Beijing will continue pushing "China's proposition for improving global economic governance and its idea of building an international community of shared future so as to create a sound external environment" he said.

Mr. Yu was speaking in front of more than 2000 delegates who were meeting for the most important annual political event in Chinese calendar. The CPPCC consultative forum brings together members of the ruling party CPC and the other eight smaller parties as they seek consensus over pertinent political, social, economic and cultural issues.

Yu spoke a day after CPPCC spokesman Wang Guoqing stressed that China will continue to be the engine behind global growth.

According to Wang who delivered a media briefing regarding the CPPCC forum, "China's economic fundamentals remain strong and resilient"

Friday's opening ushers a season of high political activity in China. On Sunday the country's legislature, the National People's Congress - NPC, will formally open its calendar of the year.


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