His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu President of the Republic of Zambia has applauded and acknowledged the excellent and friendly historical relations that exist between Zambia and the People’s Republic of China that are based on equality and mutual respect.
And Zambia and China has signed two Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements worth RMB 450 million for the expansion of the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital and the construction of an International Conference Centre in Lusaka to enable Zambia host the African Union Summit in 2022. The agreements are: RMB 200 million for the expansion of the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, and RMB 250 million for the construction of milling plants in Monze, Mpika and Lusaka including the construction of an International Conference Centre.
The President said when he held a meeting with His Excellency Mr. Wang Yong, State Councilor of the People’s Republic of China at State House that the strong relations between Zambia and China are evidenced by the recent high level visits to Zambia by His Excellency Mr. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the people’s Republic of China; his excellency Mr. Zhang Ming, Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Tian Guoli, chairman of the Bank of China Group.
His Excellency Mr. Wang Yong, State Councilor is a special envoy of His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of Zambia. The purpose of Mr. Yong visit to Zambia is to further promote the implementation of the consensus between the Chinese and Zambian Heads of State on the outcomes of the forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) Johannesburg Summit, as well as strengthen the integration of interests for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
President Lungu said the Zambian Government remains committed to strengthening the already existing excellent relations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the mutual benefit of the two peoples and the President also extend an invitation to President Xi Jinping to visit Zambia.
“Your visit will provide yet another opportunityy for further engagement between Zambia and China in areas of mutual benefit. On the Zambian side, the speaker of the National Assembly recently visited the People’s Republic of China in April, 2017. I cannot forget the visit that our 10 Provincial Ministers undertook to your country,” the President said.
President Lungu said the Zambian Government appreciates the role that China played in supporting Zambia’s liberation struggle and Africa saying the support contributed to the freedom that the people of Zambia enjoy today.
He said the people of Zambia will always remember China’s selflessness in rendering support by constructing the Tanzania-Zambia railway (TAZARA) at a time when China itself was facing economic challenges.
The President said such unwavering support is a clear indication that China is indeed an all-weather friend adding that the support also reflects that China is indeed a true friend of Zambia.
“Zambia has continued to receive support from the Chinese-Government over the years in various sectors of the economy. Today we are signing two Economic and Technical agreements for the expansion of the Levy Mwanawasa Hospital and the construction of milling plants including the International Conference Centre for us to host the 2022 African Union Summit. The expansion of Levy Mwanawasa hospital will result in the hospital being upgraded into a University Teaching Hospital. This one act will accrue numerous benefits to the Zambian people.
The signing of these agreements for the projects to be implemented will further cement the cooperation between our two countries and complement Government’s effort in uplifting the welfare of the people of Zambia,” said the President.
And with regards to the forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) President Lungu said that the Zambian Government considers this as an important platform for advancing South to South Cooperation and he applaud President Xi Jinping for his support towards this initiative.
He said for Zambia, the commitments made by China under the FOCAC 2016 to 2018 Johannesburg action plan in areas such as Agriculture, Education, Health, Infrastructure development, Investment, Trade, and Tourism will help Zambia advance the welfare its people.
“It is our hope that Zambia will soon receive positive feedback on the five (5) priority projects such as Infrastructure development, Energy, Tourism, Human Resources development, and Agriculture with an emphasis on Agro-processing and value addition which were agreed with the Chinese Government under the FOCAC. We hold China in high esteem as a partner with regards to Trade and Investment. I wish to assure you that the Zambian Government remains committed to providing a conducive environment for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and non-traditional exports,” said the President.
The President said he was confident that Zambia will see even more Chinese investment coming into the country to further contribute to value addition, diversification and job creation.
President Lungu affirmed the Zambian Government’s commitment to continue working with the Chinese Government in areas of mutual interest at multilateral level on a broad range of issues such as the reform of the United Nations Security Council.
And shortly after the meeting, a signing ceremony took place at State House which was witnessed by his Excellency the President and the Chinese State Councilor His Excellency Mr. Wang Yong.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati signed the two Economic and Technical Cooperation agreements on behalf of the Republic of Zambia, while China’s Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming signed on behalf of the People’s Republic of China.