Features

China-Zambia relations still solid (Part II)

CHINESE Ambassador to Zambia Li Jie has given a written response to several questions recently asked by Zambian journalists. Below is the full text.
Question: You mentioned that President Hichilema gave a video speech to the Fourth China International Import Expo (CIIE). Can you share more information about that? How would China promote economic cooperation between Zambia and China?
Answer: The CIIE closed in Shanghai on November 10, achieving another complete success. President Xi delivered a keynote speech titled “Let the breeze of openness bring warmth to the world” at the opening ceremony.
He declared China’s firm determination to safeguard true multilateralism, share development opportunities with the rest of the world, promote high-standard opening up, and uphold the common interests of the world.
As the only national-level expo with the theme of imports, this year’s CIIE once again exceeded US$70 billion in turnover by year, injecting confidence and impetus into the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the joint construction of an open world economy by all countries.
With long-time attention and support for CIIE, Zambia was invited as the guest of honour at the second CIIE in 2019, which successfully promoted the export of high-quality Zambian agricultural products such as honey and blueberries to China.
At the opening ceremony of this year’s CIIE, President Hichilema, as the only invited African head of State, delivered a speech in which he spoke highly of China’s overcoming the pandemic to hold the CIIE as scheduled, and looked forward to further strengthening Zambia-China trade cooperation.
This is not only conducive to Zambian high-quality products entering China and going global through the CIIE platform, but also to the continued in-depth development of China-Zambia mutually beneficial and win-win economic and trade cooperation.
China has become an important trade partner of and investment source for Zambia. There is great room for strengthening practical cooperation.
Last year, the trade volume between China and Zambia reached US43.988 billion, including US$3.306 billion export from Zambia to China.
We are glad to see that Zambia has enjoyed huge trade surpluses to China, and welcome more Zambian products to be exported to China by granting zero-tariff treatment to Zambian products covering 97 percent of tariff lines. In 2020, Zambia attracted additional US$500 million of foreign direct investment from China, ranking first among African countries for the third year in a row.
The Chinese government is willing to continue to encourage credible enterprises to invest and develop their businesses in Zambia.
Question: Senegal announced that the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in Dakar on November 29 and 30. Could you tell us more details about the conference?
Answer: FOCAC is an important platform for collective dialogue and effective mechanism for practical cooperation between China and Africa. Since its inception 21 years ago, FOCAC has spearheaded international cooperation with Africa and become a golden brand for south-south cooperation.
The eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC will be held on November 29 and 30 in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, the African co-chair of FOCAC.
With the theme of “Deepen China-Africa partnership and promote sustainable development to build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era”, the conference will review and assess the follow-up implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC in Beijing as well as the joint China-Africa response to COVID-19, and chart the course for China-Africa relations for the next three years and more to come.
Zambia is an important participant in the FOCAC and a major beneficiary. Since the 2018 FOCAC in Beijing, with the joint efforts of both parties, China and Zambia have achieved fruitful results in practical cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, energy, medical and health, and food security, and Zambia has greatly benefited from the Eight Major China-Africa Cooperation Initiatives. Practical cooperation projects such as Lower Kafue Gorge Hydropower Station, Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, and the new terminal of Kenneth Kaunda International Airport have brought tangible benefits to the Zambian people.
The forthcoming FOCAC will also provide new opportunities for Zambia to share the fruits from China’s development, to implement national development plans, to build a diversified economy, to improve employment and people’s livelihood, as well as to deepen practical cooperation with China in various fields and write a new chapter of China-Zambia traditional friendship.
Zambia’s Foreign Minister Mr Kakubo has readily accepted the invitation to the conference. He said Zambia will actively participate in the forthcoming FOCAC and continue to promote more exchanges and cooperation between African countries and China.
With the support of the Zambian side, the forthcoming FOCAC meeting is believed to build the strategic consensus between China and Africa, promote unity in the pandemic response and boost Africa’s development and prosperity at a faster speed.
Question: The world is now facing many difficulties and challenges. What do you think China as the largest developing country can do to help tackle the challenges?
Answer: Recently, President Xi attended major multilateral events including the general debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the leaders’ summit of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference, the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit and others, and delivered important remarks.
He put forward a series of initiatives and proposals and offered China’s solution to a host of global issues such as COVID-19 control, economic recovery, biodiversity and climate change, receiving worldwide attention.
First, deepen global cooperation against COVID-19. President Xi has stressed on many occasions the need to make vaccines a global public good and ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
Of pressing priority is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally. China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year.
In addition to donating US$100 million to COVAX, China will donate 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year.
China will continue to support and engage in global science-based origins tracing, and stands firmly opposed to political maneuvering in whatever form.
Second, boost world economic recovery and pursue development. President Xi proposed the Global Development Initiative, calling on the international community to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for more robust, greener and more balanced global development, and foster a global community of development with a shared future.
This major initiative has set out a blueprint for the development of countries and international development cooperation, and pointed the way forward for global development and international development cooperation.  The initiative is an important public good and cooperation platform that China provides to the international community.
It is open to the whole world and welcomes the participation of all countries. It will form synergy with other initiatives including the Belt and Road Initiative, Agenda 2063 of the African Union, and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, so as to help Zambia and other African countries realise sustainable development.
Third, build a community of life for man and nature. President Xi pointed out that green mountains are gold mountains and silver mountains, and humanity and nature need to coexist in harmony.
He announced China’s initiative to establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion yuan (RMB) to support biodiversity protection in developing countries.
China’s actions on climate change are real. China adds about 12,000 hectares of forest area and 90,000 kW of installed photovoltaic capacity on average per day.
In the meantime, China has allocated about 1.1 billion yuan for south-south cooperation on climate change in recent years, donated energy conservation and new energy products and devices to almost 40 countries.
China has also helped relevant countries to launch meteorological satellites, and trained nearly 1,500 officials and technical personnel working in the climate response sector of 120 developing countries, and done our best to provide assistance and support for fellow developing countries under the framework of south-south cooperation on climate change.
President Xi’s proposition has been warmly received and echoed by many countries and international organisations including the United Nations.
The shared belief is that his remarks will help galvanise global efforts, bring global development to a new stage that is balanced, coordinated and inclusive, and accelerate implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
China will continue to uphold openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, practise true multilateralism, and make unremitting efforts for and new contributions to advancing global solidarity against COVID-19.
It will also promote world economic recovery and development, improving global economic governance and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.




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