Lungu expected at China-Africa summit

PRESIDENT Lungu with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference in China. PICTURE: EDDIE MWANALEZA.

KAPALA CHISUNKA, Johannesburg, South Africa
PRESIDENT Lungu is expected here today for the Johannesburg summit of the 6th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The summit, which marks its 15th anniversary since it was established in 2000, is being held under the theme “China-Africa move forward hand in hand for win-win cooperation and common development.”
Chinese president Xi Jinping, South African president Jacob Zuma and General Secretary of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and other African leaders and international organisations will be present at the historic summit, the first to be held in Africa.
Zambia’s high commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba said President Lungu will be accompanied by ministers of Finance, Alexander Chikwanda; Commerce, Trade and Industry, Margaret Mwanakatwe, and Foreign Affairs, Harry Kalaba.
“The President is expected to sign various bilateral agreements during the summit. Details of the agreements will be availed after the documents have been signed,” Mr Mwamba said.
President Lungu is also expected to officiate at the Zambia-South Africa business gala dinner tonight.
The summit opened on Wednesday with a meeting by the technical committee which was followed by a ministerial meeting on Thursday called to prepare the agenda and action plan for the heads of state that are attending the conference today.
“China is the second largest economy in the world and is said to overtake the United States of America in a few years. It has been a key economic partner, and issues that affect China affect Zambia.
“We cannot ignore China and we would rather we are at the table with China and ensure that the process is mutual. That is what President Lungu has been pushing for,” Mr Mwamba said.
He said no country can ignore the benefits of partnering with China.
“Many nations have recognised the importance of partnering with China as evidenced by the attendance at the conference,” Mr Mwamba said.
The summit, which officially opens today, is aimed at further enhancing China-Africa friendly cooperation by jointly tackling the challenges brought by globalisation as well as pursuing common development.

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