China to Expand Ties With Zambia, Xi Says

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Zambia that Beijing is seeking to expand bilateral ties with Lusaka, amid China’s increasing role in the African country’s debt restructuring.

China-Zambia relations have maintained positive momentum, Xi told Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema in a phone call, Chinese state media reported.

China will allow more Zambian products into its markets and strengthen epidemic response cooperation, Xi said.

In a statement on Facebook, Hichilema said: “We discussed the potential for greater cooperation and win-win partnerships, the abundant investment opportunities that Zambia offers, and our shared commitment to working together to address and resolve the debt issue.”

Zambia’s external debt stood at $17.27 billion by the end of 2021, after it became the first nation to default during the COVID-19 pandemic. China held $5.78 billion of Zambia’s foreign debt figure.

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