President XI Jinping on Friday, September 14 met with President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia in Beijing China where the two leaders agreed on establishing a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two nations.
At the invitation of Chinese President, Zambia’s President stated that had paid a visit to the Peoples Republic of China from 10th to 16 September 2023.
“Warmly received by President XI Jinping at Great Hall of the people in Beijing,” Hichilema stated.
During the visit, the two Heads of State held talks with views on China-Zambia relations, China-Africa relation, regional and international issues of mutual interest between the two countries.
Further, the two leaders commended their close political and economic cooperation since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in the new era.
The two presidents also reaffirmed their commitment to real multilateralism, safeguarding the United Nations (UN), UN -centered international systems and advocating for the common values of peace, development, democracy and freedom among others.
At the same time, they also agreed that its necessary to reform the UN and its security council to allow for a bigger role for the developing nations.
Additionally, Zambian president reiterated the importance of Ezulwin Consensus and thanked China for being the first G20 country to support the African Union (AU) in joining the group during the G20 summit held in New Delhi, India.
Areas of mutual interest for Zambia and China
Zambian president also thanked the Chinese side for the key role it played in the Zambian debt restructuring process as Co-Chair of the official Creditor’s committee under the G20 common framework.
The two sides also appreciated the role of China-Africa Cooperation role in advancing comprehensive strategic partnership to help in consultation of the China-Africa affairs.
Currently, China has significant commercial interests in Zambia, having invested in over 30 projects through its Belt and Road Initiative between 22014 and 2023 according to data compiled by American Enterprise Institute think tank.
It shows the projects were worth $11.3 billion in total ranging from the energy sector to agriculture and aviation.
Zambia is seeking to restructure its external debt with China and find more trade opportunities with the world’s second largest economy.
The two countries have also not revealed if they agreed on the debt restructuring.
Further, the two sides agreed on opening direct flight routes to facilitate personal exchanges between the two nations.
China also stated that at the request of Zambia it is ready to support the upgrade and renovation of TAZARA Railway in line with the market and commercial principles.
Additionally, it was agreed that China would invite Zambia to continuously participate in the China International Import Expo to help explore more markets for Zambian products.