In a significant diplomatic exchange, President Hakainde Hichilema met with His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, at the illustrious Great Hall of The People in Beijing. The meeting marked a momentous occasion as both leaders engaged in bilateral discussions, covering a wide range of topics aimed at advancing mutual interests and strengthening the ties between their two nations.
President Hichilema’s visit to China has been strategically orchestrated to include interactions with local authorities, influential industry leaders, potential investors, and various businesses across four Chinese provinces. These preliminary engagements are designed to provide valuable insights and set the stage for the crucial state-level bilateral meetings that transpired today.
Anticipation ran high for the productive exchange between President Hichilema and President Xi Jinping, along with their respective delegations. Both leaders expressed their commitment to fostering closer ties between Zambia and China during their discussions.
Following their talks, it was announced that President Hakainde Hichilema and President Xi Jinping had agreed to elevate the relationship between Zambia and China to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. This move signifies a significant step forward in the diplomatic relations between the two nations and reflects a shared vision of strengthening their friendship and collaboration.
As Zambia and China celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations, President Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of further deepening the bonds of friendship between the two countries. He underscored the need for enhanced solidarity, collaboration, and a commitment to true multilateralism that upholds the common interests of both Zambia and China.
President Xi Jinping also acknowledged the symbolic significance of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) as a testament to the enduring friendship between the two nations. He expressed his government’s desire to elevate this friendship to new heights.
In response, President Hichilema conveyed his appreciation for the longstanding friendship between Zambia and China. He commended China for its remarkable economic advancements and expressed Zambia’s commitment to further strengthening their bilateral ties.
The leaders held a closed-door meeting lasting over 45 minutes, during which they delved into various aspects of their collaboration and the future of their nations’ relations. President Hichilema arrived at the Great Hall of the People alongside First Lady Mutinta Hichilema and was accorded a 21-gun salute, accompanied by the resonating sounds of Zambian songs performed by a brass band. The President also inspected a guard of honor, adding to the ceremonial significance of the visit.
Prior to his meeting with President Xi Jinping, President Hichilema held discussions with Mr. Zhao Leji, Chairman of the People’s Congress, in a closed-door meeting that extended for over 30 minutes. During this meeting, Mr. Zhao praised Zambia for its economic achievements and leadership, reinforcing the positive sentiment surrounding President Hichilema’s visit.