In what has now become a fashion for a Zambian minister to visit and thank China every week, defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba is in Shanghai.
Just last week it was information minister Fackson Shamenda who was touring and thanking China for ‘developing’ Zambia and pledging to support the so-called one China policy.
Other ministers, government ministers including military personnel have all been trekking to China to go and thank the communist county and see how it is developed.
In exchange, Chinese national have been coming into Zambia in plane-loads and taking up simple jobs that can be done by Zambians.
While in opposition, the PF government condemned the influx of Chinese nationals into Zambia and current president Michael Sata even threatened to expel the Chinese if he became president.
The PF then sided with Taiwan, the victim of the One China Policy and there were reports that PF got funding from Taiwan.
But once in power, one of the first actions Sata took was to have lunch with Chinese investors and invite more to come.
In China on Monday, defence minister Mwamba called for stronger ties between Zambia and China.
Mwamba said China has been Zambia’s strongest partner in areas of health, infrastructural development, mining and other sectors of the economy since independence.
He said this when he visited the second Military Medical University in Shanghai.
The minister said Zambia and China have close and invaluable co-operation in military capacity building and that China has greatly contributed to building Zambia’s capacity in the defence force.
“I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for the ever timely assistance they have continued to render to the people of Zambia in general and the Zambia Defence Force in particular,” He said.
Xu Caihou, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission earlier told Mwamba that China appreciates the Zambian government’s adherence to the one-China policy as well as its support for China on issues concerning Taiwan, Tibet and human rights.
The country values its friendship with Zambia and is ready to work with the country on cooperation between the two nations as well as the two armed forces, he said.
Mwamba of course praised the remarkable achievements China has made in its economic development, noting that Zambia is willing to learn from China’s experiences.