His Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia has said Zambia values the longstanding friendship with the People’s Republic of China premised on mutual respect, shared values and common aspirations at bilateral and multilateral levels.
“We wish to openly and proudly acknowledge the role of the respective founding fathers of China and Zambia, Chairman Mao Zedong and Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, whose visionary leadership laid a firm foundation for the special bond and strategic partnership between Zambia and China truly befitting of the term “all weather friends,” said the President.
The President said this when he met Mr. Yang Jiechi member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, at State House in Lusaka today.
“l wish to welcome Your Excellency Mr. Yang to Zambia and State House in particular, and I wish to express gratitude to His Excellency President Xi Jinping for sending a special envoy to confer with us on matters of mutual importance to the two countries, ” said the President.
The President expressed gratitude to the Chinese Government for its generous support in various areas such as Zambia’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, construction of the historical Tanzania-Zambia (Tazara) project, hospitals, airports, stadia, and roads as well as the ongoing construction of an ultra-modern convention centre which is expected to host the 2022 African Union Summit.
“We eagerly look forward to the completion of other joint projects such as the Kafue Gorge Lower Project. We are further encouraged by increased bilateral economic activity in light of Zambia’s favourable investment climate as well as market access and preferential treatment for Zambian agricultural products into China and indeed support to other sectors,” said the President.
During the meeting the President recalled the various fruitful deliberations with His Excellency President Xi at various fora to further advance the relations and cooperation between the two countries: “l can only reaffirm that the Zambian Government will continuously commit to the bilateral and multilateral levels for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
And President Lungu has congratulated China for its 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and commended the party for leading the Chinese people in attaining remarkable socio-economic achievements.
The President also extended his best wishes to President Xi and the people of China as they mark the Lunar New Year and wished them continued success and prosperity.
And the President applauded China for eradicating extreme poverty among its people.
“l wish to reassure Your Excellency that our word is our bond. We say what we do and we do what we say,” the President said.
And Mr. Yang told President Lungu that the purpose of his visit to Zambia was to further concretise the resolutions from the meeting the Head of State had with President Xi in July 2020, and during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit.
“What you have said fully demonstrates your far-sightedness of statesmanship, and this clearly demonstrates Your Excellency’s commitment to the China-Zambia relationship. The purpose of my visit to Zambia is to have further consultations with the Zambian side on decisions made during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit,” said Mr. Yang.
Mr. Yang expressed confidence that the next FOCAC meeting will achieve tangible results for the mutual benefit of China and Zambia and its peoples.
He observed that Zambia was the first country in Southern Africa to have established diplomatic ties with new China: “Under the guidance of our founding fathers of China and Zambia, Chairman Mao Zedong and Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, ever since the two countries established diplomatic ties, our countries have been growing from strength to strength. TAZARA is a symbol of sincere friendship between Zambia and China, ” said Mr. Yang.
Mr. Yang stated that both countries have endeavoured to achieve bilateral cooperation premised on equality, mutual benefits and solidarity.
“We have established what it means to be true brothers,” he said.
The Special Envoy committed to continue supporting the Zambian Government on the development path that suits the Zambian people and stated that China was opposed to any internal interference of African countries.
Mr. Yang further committed that in the 21st century, China will enhance cooperation with Zambia in the economic sector and international issues among others.
“This year marks 100 years of China’s founding of the Communist Party. This is the year we will begin the implementation of the five-year plan of China,” Mr. Yang said.
The Chinese delegation comprised Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Mr. Li Jie, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Deng Li, Ministry of Commerce Assistant Minister Ren Hongbin, China International Development Cooperation Agency Deputy Director Mr. Zhang Maoyu and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of African Affairs Deputy Director-General Zhou Ping, among others.
This is according to a statement issued by Special Assistant to the President Press and Public Relations Mr. Isaac Chipampe.
Public Relations Unit
Ministry of Foreign Affairs