Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, on Saturday on the fourth leg of his eight-nation African tour aimed at enhancing friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and African countries.
In Lusaka, President Hu is expected to hold talks with his Zambian counterpart Levy Patrick Mwanawasa on deepening bilateral relations and economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
In a written statement issued at the airport, Hu said that Zambia is an important country in southern Africa.
"Under the leadership of President Mwanawasa, the Zambian people have, in recent years, made impressive achievements in economic revitalization and national development, and played an active role in African and international affairs," he said.
Zambia was the first country in southern Africa to establish diplomatic relations with New China. "Since then, our two peoples have always sympathized with and supported each other. Extensive cooperation has been carried out in the field of economic and social development," he said.
"The well-known Tazara stands as a monument to the China-Zambia friendship that binds us together," he said, referring to the Tazara Railway linking Tanzania with Zambia, which was built with China's assistance in the 1970s.
Since China and Zambia established diplomatic relations in 1964, the two countries have maintained "all-weather friendship," as described by former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda. Hu will also meet with Kaunda during the trip.
In recent years, China and Zambia have expanded their cooperation into areas of agriculture, textile and education.
The Chinese president flew into Lusaka from Khartoum after his visit to Sudan.
President Hu's Africa trip has already taken him to Cameroon, Liberia and Sudan and will take him to Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.