By KAIKO NAMUSA –
PRESIDENT Michael Sata and Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao yesterday held high-level talks centred on deepening existing bilateral relations as well as embarking on a mutual approach to tackle challenges shared by both countries.
President Sata met Dr Li and his delegation at State House in Lusaka yesterday for the talks on day two of the Chinese Vice-President’s State visit, which symbolised a hallmark of enhanced relations.
Mr Sata said Zambia was highly indebted to China for the economic advancements recorded in various sectors so far.
President Sata said Zambia and China had challenges of unemployment and that with a shared approach, this and other hurdles, could be tackled for the benefit of citizens of both countries.
“There is unemployment in China and in Zambia. If we work as a team, we will address these challenges that are shared between the two countries,” Mr Sata said.
He hailed China for its role in the establishment of the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), adding that the visit by Dr Li was timely as it reflected the importance of relations between Zambia and China.
Dr Li informed President Sata that his visit was to further ties that had existed since 1964.
He commended Zambia’s history of political stability and developmental achievements.
Dr Li said the Zambia-China relations were created by the older generation of leaders of the two countries, such as China’s late Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, and Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda.
“My visit is aimed to celebrate 50 years of political Independence and bilateral ties with China. Zambia’s independence was also important to Africa as a whole. In the past 50 years, Zambia has had political stability and scored development and progress in many areas,” he said.
He said since the Patriotic Front (PF) formed Government in 2011, Zambia secured further progress in attracting foreign investment and in fighting the triple-threats of corruption, poverty and unemployment.
He said despite global changes over the years, Zambia and China relations had continued to remain strong and thanked President Sata for showing continued commitment to expand the platform for bilateral ties.
The meeting was also attended by Vice-President Guy Scott, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Bob Sichinga and Home Affairs Minister Ngosa Simbyakula.
Others were Youth and Sports Minister, Chishimba Kambwili, Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba and Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska.