We're not facing West or East- Ruto on whether he prefers China or US

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President Ruto clarified that Kenya's development goals, not geopolitical alignments, drive the country's foreign policy.

President William Ruto has dismissed claims that Kenya’s relationship with China might be jeopardised following his recent visit to the United States.

In an interview on CNN with Richard Quest, Ruto emphasised Kenya’s commitment to maintaining balanced bilateral relations with both Eastern and Western countries.

Ruto addressed concerns about Kenya's potential forced choice between major global powers.

"You'll forgive me but I will just put it straight forward in good blunt terms. If a choice is made between investment by China and the United States and companies, which would you prefer?" Quest asked.

President Ruto clarified that Kenya's development goals, not geopolitical alignments, drive the country's foreign policy.

“Many people want to pull us into a conversation about whether we are facing east or west. Let me tell you, we are neither facing west nor east; we are facing forward,” Ruto clarified.

He elaborated that Kenya’s primary focus is on leveraging opportunities for investment and development. “That is where the opportunities are, and we are working in a manner to make sure we put resources where opportunities are.”

President Ruto highlighted Kenya’s successful deal with Microsoft to establish a mega data centre, a project that aligns with Kenya’s digital growth ambitions.

"We are working with those who can help unlock these opportunities, make them into investments, create jobs, and create wealth," he stated.

Ruto noted that Kenya’s green energy grid, with 90 per cent of its power being renewable, was a significant factor in securing the Microsoft partnership.

“We are looking at where our opportunities are to create jobs, create wealth, and take Kenya as well as Africa in the same direction,” he said.

In a call to American investors, Ruto urged them to consider Kenya’s market for mutual benefit. "I want to affirm your confidence in entering or expanding your cooperation in our market, and I want to ask and answer the question: what can we do for you and what can we do together?" he said.

Ruto's visit to the US and his remarks come amid speculation that the United States intends to counter China's influence in East Africa's most stable economy. US President Joe Biden, during his speech at the White House, commended President Ruto for his leadership.

“President, your bold leadership on this front has been important and particularly impactful. Together, the United States and Kenya are working to deliver on the challenges that matter most to our people's lives," Biden said.

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