|Wang Yi Holds Talks with Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba of Zambia|
On January 8, 2017, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks in Lusaka with Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba of Zambia.
Wang Yi expressed that Zambia is an "all-weather" friend of China in Africa that stands together through storms and stress and shares weal and woe. The traditional friendship between China and Zambia, which was personally forged by Chairman Mao Zedong and President Kenneth Kaunda, has taken deep roots in the two peoples' hearts and become even firmer as time goes by. At present, China is Zambia's second largest trading partner, main investment source country and main contractor of infrastructure construction. Since the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in December, 2015, investment and trade cooperation between the two countries have stridden forward and grown substantially against the backdrop of weak world economic recovery, which has formed a gratifying momentum of the vigorous development of China-Zambia cooperation. China has become the most important and reliable cooperation partner of Zambia in realizing independent and sustainable development.
Wang Yi expressed that China is willing to, focusing on implementing the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and the outcomes from the FOCAC, give full play to the three major advantages of political mutual trust, economic complementarity and people's friendship between the two countries, so as to assist Zambia to realize its three major targets of industrialization, agricultural modernization and the modernization of national governance capability. To this end, China will uphold the intensive development concept that large-scale infrastructure construction programs should be planned and promoted together with industry development, focus on activating the Tanzania-Zambia railway (Tazara), give full play to the role of Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, which is the largest and most developed cooperation zone in Africa, and focus on strengthening production capacity cooperation, so as to help Zambia continuously enhance its self-development capability and become the transportation hub and logistics center of landlocked countries.
Harry Kalaba stated that Zambia sincerely appreciates China's great support to Zambia's national independence and its selfless assistance to Zambia's national construction, and especially thanks China for helping to build Tazara in case of its own lack of wealth. The Zambian people hold good feelings towards China, and will always bear in mind China's help. Zambia regards China as the most reliable strategic partner, and is satisfied with the progress of practical cooperation between the two countries. The country hopes to receive more support from China in the future. Zambia will take the activation of Tazara as a priority of the government work and looks forward to working closely with China to reform and revitalize Tazara so as to promote it to play an important role in Zambia's industrialization and regional economic integration. Zambia firmly adheres to the one-China policy and supports China's efforts in maintaining national sovereignty, territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests.
The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common interest. Harry Kalaba said that Zambia appreciates China's leading role in the process of global response to climate change and its active contribution to resolving hot-spot issues in Africa, combating piracy off the Somali coast and other aspects. It is hoped that China will play a greater role in maintaining peace and security in Africa. Zambia will adhere to the common stance of the African Union on the reform of the UN Security Council and enhance coordination and cooperation with China. Wang Yi expressed that China and Zambia share similar stances on major international and regional issues, and should continue to reinforce coordination and cooperation through bilateral and multilateral channels, so as to safeguard the common interests of both countries and developing countries. Both Foreign Ministers jointly met the press after the talks.