*Its actually dumping ground for both goods and Chinese people
LUSAKA Oct. 23 (Xinhua) — China said on Wednesday that its relationship with Zambia was now standing at a new starting point and embracing new opportunities for development.
Li Jie, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia said in his reflection of 55 years since the establishment of diplomatic relationship that the two countries have embarked on a distinctive path of win-win cooperation and that China was satisfied with the development of bilateral relations.
“China will remain as a sincere friend and reliable partner of Zambia. We will continue to uphold the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests,” he told reporters during a press briefing.
The Chinese envoy noted that China will work with Zambia to speed up the implementation of the outcomes of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing summit, jointly enhance Belt and Road cooperation, and play a leading and exemplary role in working together toward an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.
He however said the inheritance and development of China-Zambia friendship could not be achieved without the efforts of the two peoples and called for increased support to enhance the bilateral relationship.
He paid glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the two countries for having forged the strong bilateral relation which has been constantly supported by subsequent generations of leaders of the two countries.
According to him, China-Zambia relations have entered a fast track in recent years, with high-level exchanges between the two countries on the rise.
He noted that the two countries have achieved fruitful results in practical cooperation in various fields from which the peoples of the two countries have benefited widely.
China, he said, is a major investor in Zambia with more than 600 Chinese enterprises operating in the southern African nation, with a total investment of more than 3.8 billion U.S. dollars.
The Chinese envoy further said China is Zambia’s second largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching 5 billion dollars in 2018 and Zambia’s exports to China exceeding 4.1 billion dollars.
Li said he expects more Zambian firms to attend next month’s second China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai from last year’s 14 companies.
He told reporters during a press briefing that Zambia has been given the status of guest of honor of the event with a large space for exhibition which local firms should take advantage of.