The President of China, Xi Jinping, said on Friday that China is in support of Zambia safeguarding its national sovereignty, security, and development interests, while encouraging more imports from the southern African country.
President Xi met Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema, in Beijing and the two countries upgraded their ties to a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership”, as reported by Xinhua, Chinese state news agency. As Zambia seeks to restructure its external debt with China and garner more trade opportunities, Xi vowed to work with Zambia to expand cooperations covering infrastructure, agriculture, mining and clean energy.
Hichilema appreciated China for helping to resolve Zambia’s financial issues and for supporting the African Union’s admission to the Group of 20 major economies at its summit in New Delhi on September 9-10, according to Xinhua.
Whether China and Zambia signed any debt arrangements wasn’t immediately known.
According to information gathered by the think tank American Enterprise Institute, China has substantial business interests in Zambia. Between 2014 and 2023, China invested in over 30 projects under its Belt and Road Initiative.
It reveals that the projects, which included the energy industry as well as agriculture and aviation, totalled $11.3 billion.
About a fifth of Zambia’s exports, primarily copper, go to China as well.
At the meeting, Hichilema said, “Zambia abides by the one-China principle, highly appreciates the guiding concepts and principles of Chinese-style modernisation and hopes to learn from China’s development experience.”
According to Xi, China is supporting more Chinese-funded businesses making investments in Zambia and is promoting more high-quality Zambian products to join the Chinese market.
Hichilema will be in China till Saturday.