On October 18, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Zambia's new Foreign Minister Stanley Kasongo Kakubo at the latter's request.
Wang Yi congratulated Kakubo on taking office as Zambia's foreign minister, saying that the traditional friendship between China and Zambia, nurtured by the elder generation of leaders of both countries, including Chairman Mao Zedong and Founding President Kenneth David Kaunda, is so precious that we should cherish and carry it forward. Over the past half century, no matter how the international situation changes, the two sides have attached great importance to bilateral ties and worked in the furtherance of friendly cooperation. The essence of our "all-weather friendship" has always been sustained by both sides. As developing countries, China and Zambia share wide-ranging common interests and aspirations. Cooperation between China and Zambia is part of South-South cooperation that helps and supports each other, and boasts enormous potential and a promising future.
Recalling the days when China and Zambia were comrades jointly striving for national liberation and political independence, Wang Yi said, today China will continue to be a firm partner of Zambia on the latter's development path. China is willing to share its development opportunities with African countries, including Zambia, to help Africa accelerate its industrialization and truly achieve economic independence. China has become an important trade partner of and investment source for Zambia. Last year, Zambia was the African country that attracted the most investment from China. There is great room for strengthening practical cooperation. The Chinese government is willing to continue to encourage credible enterprises to invest and develop their businesses in Zambia. China is willing to provide another one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to help Zambia fight the pandemic.
Wang Yi said, China hopes to work with Zambia to encourage more countries and organizations to participate in the Global Development Initiative and the Initiative on Partnership for Africa's Development, so as to make positive contributions to African countries' post-pandemic economic recovery and their stronger, green and sound development. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is an important platform for collective cooperation between China and Africa. With the support of the Zambian side, the forthcoming FOCAC 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.
Kakubo thanked China for its strong support for Zambia's national liberation movement, construction of infrastructure like the Tazara Railway, and COVID-19 response. He noted, the vision of both countries' elder generation of leaders has laid a foundation for Zambia-China relations, and the all-weather friendship between the two countries is well justified. Zambia's new government places a high premium on Zambia-China friendship, is firmly committed to being on good terms with China, and stands ready to deepen practical cooperation with China in various fields and further enhance coordination and cooperation with China at bilateral and multilateral levels. Zambia supports the one-China policy and believes that China is capable of safeguarding its own sovereignty and security. Zambia is grateful to China for providing it with vaccines and anti-pandemic materials, and said that it has benefited greatly from the Belt and Road Initiative and will actively participate in the forthcoming FOCAC and continue to promote more exchanges and cooperation between African countries and China.