Chinese government speaks out on China Square row

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The Chinese government has noted concern on the ongoing controversy surrounding the China Square shopping centre in Nairobi. In a statement released last evening, China through its embassy in Nairobi asked the Kenyan government to protect the rights and interests of Chinese traders in the country.

“The Embassy has taken note of the recent situation on the issue of “China Square”, and would like to reiterate that the Embassy supports deepening trade and investment cooperation between China and Kenya, and supports Chinese enterprises and Chinese citizens in conducting business in accordance with Kenyan laws and regulations,” said the Chinese Embassy.

“At the same time, we hope that the Kenyan government will protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and Chinese citizens, and create an inclusive and friendly business environment, so as to better promote China-Kenya practical cooperation and bring benefit to our two countries and two peoples.”

The statement by the Chinese embassy came a day after hundreds of small-scale traders held protests in the Nairobi CBD on over what they termed as business takeover by Chinese traders.

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The irate traders accused China Square of setting an unhealthy competition for them. While marching towards the office of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at Harambee Annex, the traders demanded audience with government officials to hear their lamentations.

They also wanted an address from Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, who was not present at his office.

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