The Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao has called for stronger ties, bilateral and cooperation to a higher level between the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and Zambia’s Patriotic Front (PF).
Dr Li said China and Zambia has enjoyed cordial relations for over five decades and are profound friends, hence the two countries should push the relations to a higher level.
Dr Li said cementing relations between the two ruling political parties could be achieved if they share experiences and exchange ideas through study visits.
The Chinese Vice President was speaking in Lusaka today during bilateral talks held at the Government Complex.
He said he is in the country to promote government-to-government and party-to-party relations between the two countries.
He said there is need to fasten party-to-party study group visitations with the PF noting that China’s CPC is more advanced which PF could benefit from.
He disclosed that CPC’s International Development for Peace unit and the China Foundation for Peace and Development stands ready to work and dialogue with the PF in strengthening the party-to-party ties.
Dr Li called for commitment and discipline among cadres in the two ruling parties and unleashed some important projects to be undertaken by its members in the two countries.
He paid gratitude to President Michael Sata, First President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and PF Secretary General Wynter Kabimba for their able leadership.
Dr Li who was flanked by Communist Party officials and out-going Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao, has since invited Mr. Kabimba, PF members including members of the Central Committee to visit China this year to reciprocate his visit.
Dr Li is in the country at the invitation of the Zambian Vice-President, Guy Scott.
He disclosed that China’s investment in Zambia rose to US$3.8 billion last year, from the US$3.4 billion in 2012 on government-to-government relations.
And speaking earlier, PF Secretary General (SG) Wynter Kabimba said PF members were not benefiting from the Chinese scholarships but only civil servants benefited at the expense of party-to-party ties.
Mr Kabimba appealed to Chinese President Xi Jinping through the visiting Vice President to consider prioritizing PF members as opposed to Zambian civil servants.
Mr Kabimba, who is also Justice Minister and flanked by PF National Chairperson Inonge Wina, observed that the CPC is one of the oldest political party in the world to which the PF could benefit through tangible memorandum of understandings.
He said plans are underway to establish a radio and television station for the ruling party but lack of funds was hampering the ambitious plan.
He said the PF manifesto prioritizes youth training in areas of education, health and agriculture and the visit by Dr Li is timely and an eye opener to strengthening ties between PF and CPC.
The PF SG later donated a PF stature in appreciation to Dr Li’s visit. He further assured him that he would travel to China this year with other PF members.