Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Zambian counterpart, Hakainde Hichilema, in Beijing on Friday.
The two heads of state announced the elevation of the China-Zambia relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Xi said that the traditional friendship forged by the two countries’ older generations of leaders has stood the test of the changing international landscape, and the Tanzania-Zambia Railway has become a symbol of China-Africa friendship.
Xi said China has always viewed and developed China-Zambia relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and stands ready to work with Zambia to transform the profound traditional friendship into a strong driving force for win-win cooperation in the new era and push bilateral relations to a new level.
The Chinese president said China supports Zambia in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests and exploring a development path suited to its own conditions. He expressed China’s willingness to strengthen inter-party exchanges and exchanges of state governance experience with Zambia. The two countries should support each other on issues related to their respective core interests and major concerns.
The success of Chinese modernization shows the diversity of modernization models in the world, and China’s high-quality development and modernization process will continue to bring new opportunities to all countries including Zambia, Xi said.
China hopes to jointly build the Belt and Road with Zambia and expand cooperation in infrastructure construction, agriculture, mining and clean energy to achieve common development and revitalization, Xi said.
Xi said China encourages more quality Zambian products to enter the Chinese market and supports more Chinese enterprises in investing in Zambia.
He called on the two sides to make a success of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year, and step up exchanges and cooperation in education and training, health care, culture, tourism and other fields.
Noting that the collective rise of developing countries and their increasing international influence have become an irreversible trend of the times, Xi said China and Zambia need to strengthen solidarity and coordination, practice genuine multilateralism, firmly uphold international fairness and justice, strive to increase the voice of developing countries, and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and other developing countries.
Hichilema said Zambia cherishes the friendship forged by the older generations of leaders of the two countries. China’s development has led to the progress of countries in the Global South, increased their representation and voice in international affairs, and promoted the development of international order in a more just and rational direction, Hichilema said.
Hichilema said Zambia thanks China for supporting the African Union’s entry into the G20 and China’s positive role in resolving the Zambian debt issue. The Zambian side abides by the one-China principle, highly appreciates the guiding philosophy and principles of Chinese modernization, and hopes to learn from China’s development experience.
Hichilema is paying a state visit to China from Sept. 10 to 16 at the invitation of Xi.