PRESIDENT Sata has said “anyone who wants to kill China must kill him first”, describing Zambia and China as “Siamese twins”.
And Mr Sata has directed Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Bob Sichinga to visit China and explore ways to reduce unemployment among other challenges the country is faced with.
President Sata has thanked China for its immense contribution to the growth of Zambia’s economy.
Mr Sata said the Chinese have done a great deal for Zambia’s development through ventures such as the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) rail line.
“I would like to thank the President of China, Mr Xi (Jinping) for allowing you to visit Zambia. We do not know how to thank you for your contribution to the development of our country,” he said.
The President said this at State House yesterday when visiting Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao paid a courtesy call on him.
He said Zambia regards China as a brother as the two countries have a lot in common.
“We have so many things in common. China has unemployment, same applies to Zambia,” Mr Sata said.
The President further directed Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Mwansa Kapeya to allocate five acres of land to the Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Zhou Yuxiao.
Mr Sata jokingly described Mr Zhou as being more Zambian than Chinese.
The President also disclosed that some Patriotic Front (PF) members would be sent to China to work in industries.
He also urged China to assist Zambia in establishing a national airline.
“Zambia is nothing without a national airline. When we had an airline, we used to come to Beijing but we no longer have it,” the President said.
And Dr Li said he was entrusted by President Xi to visit Zambia and congratulate Zambians on their 50-year independence anniversary.
He observed that since President Sata assumed office in 2011, the country has recorded progress in attracting foreign investment, fighting against corruption and increasing job opportunities and reducing poverty.
“In the recent years, we have witnessed greater economic development and improvement of living standards of Zambians.
“Since 2011 when you assumed office, you have also paid attention to developing relations with China,” he said.
Dr Li commended Government for allocating two acres of land for a memorial park for Chinese workers who died during the construction of TAZARA.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Guy Scott says the friendship between Zambia and China cannot be quantified.
And Dr Li has described the cooperation between Zambia and China as friendly and a “win-win” partnership.
Dr Scott said during a dinner hosted in honour of Dr Li on Wednesday that China has been an all-weather friend to Zambia.
The Vice-President noted that China built in Zambia an enormous and most advanced workshop in southern Africa, the TAZARA workshop, situated in Mpika using its own finances despite experiencing economic difficulties in the late 1970s.
The Vice-President said the friendship China and Zambia enjoy today was started by former President Kenneth Kaunda and Chinese founding father Mao Zedong.
Dr Scott said China has continued to help Zambia in the areas of health, education, transport and communication as well as water and sanitation and that has helped Zambia to develop in many areas.
And Dr Li is optimistic his visit to Zambia will further strengthen bilateral and economic co-operation between the countries.
Dr Li said the Sino-Zambia cooperation is yielding positive results because it is friendly, equal and mutual.
And Dr Kaunda has called for strengthened people-to-people links between China and Zambia to reinforce the relationship.
Dr Kaunda said this when Dr Li paid a courtesy call on him yesterday.
“Let us have dialogue on improving and strengthening our relationship. As we celebrate 50 years of togetherness of Zambia and China, let us make today the steps for 50 more years of a great partnership,” he said.
And Dr Li said Dr Kaunda’s contribution to the creation of bilateral cooperation and relationship is appreciated in China.
“You are known as a founding father in Zambia but you may wish to know that even in China you are a hero in the eyes of the Chinese people,” he said.
Dr Li said Dr Kaunda’s contribution to the independence struggle will never be deleted because his reign as President helped Zambia and many African countries to become politically and economically stable.
And Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba said that the ruling party is enjoying cordial relations with the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) as evidenced by continued collaborations in the areas of peace and poverty reduction.
Mr Kabimba said the PF has a lot to learn from the CPC especially in areas such as those that deal with women and youth.
He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the bilateral meeting between the PF and Dr Li’s entourage.
Mr Kabimba appealed to the CPC to help PF members who have contributed tirelessly to the party to benefit from such programmes as scholarships from China.
He said that the PF will continue to learn from the CPC as it has lifted over 400 million people out of poverty in China.
Mr Kabimba said Government has in the last two and half years it has been in power tried to improve the education and health sectors.
Dr Li assured Mr Kabimba that the CPC will continue working with the PF, adding that there is need to strengthen the relationship between the two ruling parties. ZAMBIA DAILY MAIL