Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa spoke highly of the long-term friendly cooperative relations with China, saying Zambia appreciates China's help and support through all these years.
Chinese President Hu Jintao attends a welcoming ceremony held by his Zambian counterpart Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, upon his arrival in Lusaka, capital of Zambia on February 3, 2007.
Mwanawasa said on Friday in an interview with Zambia News and Information Services that Zambia and China have enjoyed a good cooperative relationship for a long time, and he was glad Chinese President Hu Jintao could visit his country.
Mwanawasa said China helped Zambia in many ways, including offering a large amount of fund on Zambia's mining, agriculture, road and bridge constructions.
Mwanawasa also refuted the assertions that China's interest in Africa is another type of colonialism.
Colonizing Africa means spoliating Africa's natural resources and impoverishing its people, while on the contrary, what China is doing in Africa is investing heavily, which will create many job opportunities and help improve African people's living standards, said Mwanawasa.
The president said Chinese people's joint efforts are one of the driving forces behind China's great achievement, calling on Zambian people to emulate the Chinese people.
Meanwhile, former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda told media that Hu's visit will further strengthen the friendly relations and consolidate the traditional friendship between Zambia and China.
Describing China as Zambia's "all-weather friend", Kaunda said China offered aid and moral support for Zambia's struggle against colonial rule.
Kaunda said bilateral relations between the two countries have moved forward for these years. The Tanzara Railway built with the assistance of China is the symbol of friendship and cooperation between China and Africa.
Today, China is still playing an important role in some sectors of Zambia's economy, the former president added.
Hu arrived in Lusaka on Saturday for a state visit to Zambia, the fourth leg of his eight-nation tour of Africa. He has visited Cameroon, Liberia and Sudan, and will visit Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and Seychelles.
(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2007)