PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema has lamented that he hates that many things in this country move too slow, adding that he hopes to work with China to modernise certain things.
And President Hichilema has thanked China for supporting Zambia’s debt restructuring process.
Meanwhile, new Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Du Xiaohui has expressed confidence that under President Hichilema’s leadership, Zambia will make new and greater achievements in all respects of national development.
Speaking when he received a letter of credence from Ambassador Du, President Hichilema confessed that he disliked how slow things moved in Zambia.
“We are looking at working with you as you grow, Your Excellency, in your modernisation of your economy and society. Many things happen too slow in this country, I dislike that I must confess. Many things happen substandard in this country, I dislike that too. I believe Zambians dislike that too. We would like to work with you and China and businesses there to modernise many things that we do in this country,” President Hichilema said
And President Hichilema said Zambia appreciated China’s support towards Zambia’s debt reform agenda.
“Zambia appreciates China’s support in our own debt resolution efforts. We are really over indebted and there is no need to explain how we got to this situation, it’s common knowledge. But we have decided, we have agreed that the debt position in our country is not sustainable and it’s taking away resources meant for development, for revenue generation, for economic expansion, for growth. So one of the challenges we have is debt and we have had several conversations foreign affairs ministry, finance ministry, State House, myself working with your team in the embassy including those that you are replacing now,” President Hichilema said.
“And now you are here yourself, we want to once more express our appreciation, our gratitude to President Xi and the Government and the People of China for your support to help us resolve this debt challenge.”
He also thanked China for its support towards infrastructure development.
“We are again deeply grateful for the support you gave us in the construction of the conference centre in Mulungushi which we will be receiving from you which you will be handing over to us very soon. That is an excellent piece of work that was done through your grace, government and the people of China. So we are grateful for that Your Excellency and this is important because it comes at a right time. This year, mid-year, we are hosting an AU summit which will bring together secretariat of the AU as well as the Africa regional bodies – West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa together and we will be hosting,” President Hichilema said.
“And this excellent facility that you have gifted to us will host its first official meeting more to say around this important AU meeting. We look forward and we are in a hurry for more cooperations with China in a lot more areas including the electric vehicles revolution.”
He appealed to the Chinese government and other nations world over to ensure peace and stability, saying without stability, all that was envisioned could not be realised.
“All of these things we are visioning, we aspire to do, we want to do, are not possible if we lose the peace and stability, if we become insecure as countries. So in that area, we would like to work together, our individual country Zambia, our region SADC, African continent, China, the whole world, safe, peaceful, secure. Again, in today’s world and technology, no one can ensure peace, security, stability without working with others. So we would like to work together in that area and to me, to us as small countries, we look up to big countries like you to help us keep the world secure, safe and stable and focus on the economic and development agenda,” President Hichilema said.
He said African leaders had agreed to work together with necessary technology, capital and experience on the developmental agenda.
“In the last three days coming from the mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, we the African leaders that were present and representatives of African leaders have agreed that it is time now to work as Africa together with our partners who will bring in many aspects; technical know-how, capital, albeit at a fair price. We are not excluding anyone. We are not excluding China, we are inviting China to work with us for technology, for capital experience, your ability to do things quickly in a short space of time,” President Hichilema said.
President Hichilema said he was delighted by the choice of the new Chinese Ambassador to Zambia.
“We are delighted that President Xi Jinping chose you to represent China in Zambia. We are very grateful to the President, please pass our appreciation. Allow me to take this opportunity to reaffirm Zambia’s position to maintain our excellent relations between our two countries. We wish to continue in this path of friendship because it is the best. I don’t think there is an alternative to the path like we are talking because the alternative may be basically subtracting from what we have so far achieved,” said President Hichilema.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Du expressed confidence that under the leadership of President Hichilema, Zambia would make new and greater achievements in all respects of national development.
“Since Your Excellency took office, you have led a government and people of Zambia in the pursuit of great aspirations boosting national unity, promoting economic transformation and development, ensuring people’s well-being and social equality. I believe that under your strong leadership, Zambia will make new and greater achievements in all respects of national development,” he said.
He reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening Zambia–China relations during his tenure.
“During my ambassadorship, I will exhaust my efforts to strengthen the relationship between our two countries and enhance the friendship of our two people. I am convinced in carrying out this lofty mission, I shall receive strong assistance and support from you, Your Excellency and your government,” said Ambassador Du.