Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba says Zambia will continue celebrating the special relationship it has with China and will ensure that the country deepens its bilateral ties with the Asian country.
Mr. Kalaba expressed happiness to note that relations between Zambia and China have continued to grow and the two countries have also shown commitment in consolidating and enhancing the relations through various programmes and projects.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said this when he and visiting Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao officiated at the inauguration of the photographic exhibition of 50 years of Zambia-China cooperation at the Lusaka Museum today.
Mr. Kalaba said Dr Li’s visit to Zambia signifies the depth and strength of Zambia-China relationship and the importance that the government and the people of China attach to Zambia.
He said the increase in frequency of high level visits between the two countries is a further demonstration of the strong foundation and long history which form the basis of the relations.
He said Zambia and China share a long history of cooperation deeply rooted in the principles and beliefs of the founding leaders of the two nations.
Mr. Kalaba said the spirit of the founding fathers of Zambia and China has continued to live and defines the ethos of the two countries cooperation now and in the future.
He said Zambia and China has cherished the commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation based on equality and mutual trust and win-win situation for both parties.
And Mr Kalaba stated that Zambia will remain indebted to China for the sacrifices it made during the construction of the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) railway line.
He said China not only lost some of its engineers during the construction of the railway line but sacrificed its resources as it was going through a difficult period at the time.
The Minister expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for the continued financial assistance it has continued to render to the country.
He cited the recent loan and grant agreements that Zambia signed with China during bilateral talks between Vice President Guy Scott and his Chinese counterpart Dr Li as one example of financial assistance China has provided to the country.
He said government will ensure it strictly monitors the implementation of the agreements that were signed for them to bear positive results.
And Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao said Zambia and China have continued to be very good friends and partners.
Dr Li said the two countries need to work towards strengthening the 50 years of healthy relations.