BUJUMBURA March 6th (ABP) – China’s ambassador to Burundi, Mr. Li Changlin, welcomed on Saturday evening in Bujumbura “the strong involvement” of the ambassador-head of State protocol at the Burundian Presidency, Mr. Zéphirin Maniratanga, in cooperation between Burundi and China.
Mr. Li answered questions from the Burundi News Agency (ABP) at the end of a reception organized at the residence of Mr. Maniratanga located in Rohero urban zone (east of Bujumbura) for the Chinese community in Burundi on the occasion of the Chinese Lantern festival.
The Chinese Lantern Festival, explained Ambassador Li, is a traditional solemn ceremony in China marked by “new meetings with other people”, which takes place on the “15th day of the 1st month of the Chinese lunar calendar”.
“In any case, with the initiation of such meetings since 2016, in this way, the Chinese Embassy in Burundi notes with great satisfaction that Mr. Maniratanga is strongly involved in cooperation with China,” he said.
He took the opportunity to point out that in connection with the Burundian Presidential palace project, which is being built under the support from the Chinese government, Mr. Maniratanga will carry out a work mission to China next week.
Asked how much the Chinese embassy in Burundi assesses the progress of the construction project of the Burundian presidential palace supported by China, Mr. Li said that the work is advancing “under good conditions”. In the forecasts, he explained, this project of the Burundian presidential palace will finish at the end of 2018.
On his part in a press briefing, Mr. Maniratanga said that “given the state of excellent relations “between China and Burundi he launched since 2016, as a Burundian citizen, an initiative” purely personal “for the strengthening of ties of friendship and cooperation between China and Burundi.
“It is within the framework of the civilities related to the celebration of the Chinese lantern festival celebrated at the beginning of each year in China, that I chose this moment to invite a large part of the members of the Chinese community residing in Bujumbura , to make them feel that they are not strangers to Burundian land, “he said.
Mr. Maniratanga took the opportunity to indicate that the works of the project on the construction of the Burundian presidential palace with the Chinese support, advance “very well”. As part of the finishing works planned for the second phase of the project, he plans to move to China next week to “see how far they can accelerate” that second phase of the project.