3 September 2008

Zambia: Projects Will Continue, Country Assures China

ACTING-President Rupiah Banda has assured the Chinese government that developmental projects initiated between Zambia and China will continue despite the demise of President Mwanawasa.

Mr Banda said that China and Zambia have enjoyed bilateral cooperation for a long time and it was therefore important that despite the passing on of Dr Mwanawasa, the relationship was strengthened even further.

He said this in Lusaka yesterday when Chinese Foreign Affairs minister, Yang Jiechi, who is the representative of that country's President Hu Jintao at the burial of Dr Mwanawasa paid a courtesy call on him in Lusaka yesterday.

"The economic zones, the construction of the stadium, hospitals, schools in rural areas and many have become a responsibility that we have to achieve and with the necessary speed, we have to complete and move to other areas. Whatever we have agreed upon would have to be fulfilled," Mr Banda said.

Mr Banda said that Zambians were greatly touched by the presence of a representative from China particularly that the two countries were far apart. Their presence at the funeral, he said signified the cordial relationship between the two countries.

He said that under Dr Mwanawasa's leadership, the relationship between Zambia and China had grown stronger saying his death had robbed the entire world of a great son.

"We would miss him greatly but we have to emulate him," Mr Banda said.

And Mr Yang said he regretted that he was coming to Zambia during a time of mourning but could have particularly been happy if it was at any other occasion. He said that the people of China were saddened by the death of Dr Mwanawasa more so that he was in the fore front to promote the one China policy.

He further said that under the leadership of Dr Mwanawasa, Zambia was able to record economic growth and even continued to attract more foreign investors.

"His passing away has made China lose a true friend and we only hope that the China policy would be strengthened as that would be the best way of mourning him," Mr Yang said.

He said the relationship enjoyed between China and Zambia should be emulated by other African countries.

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