Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Zambian counterpart Levy Patrick Mwanawasa agreed on Saturday to strengthen the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
During their talks, Hu, who arrived here earlier in the day on a state visit to Zambia, and Mwanawasa reached important consensus on boosting mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples, and on opening up a bright future for bilateral ties.
Sino-Zambian relations have developed smoothly since the two countries established diplomatic ties 42 years ago, Hu said.
The friendship between China and Zambia, fostered by generations of leaders, has "endured the test of changes in the international arena and both countries' domestic situation," he added.
Nowadays, Hu said, the two countries maintain close high-level exchanges with mutual political trust continuously enhanced.
Remarkable results have been yielded from exchanges and cooperation in the fields of trade and economy, agriculture, telecommunications, mining, infrastructure construction, finance, education, health and culture, he said,
The two-way trade volume has increased rapidly in recent years, with China becoming Zambia's third largest overseas investor, Hu said, adding that the two countries have also supported and coordinated with each other in international affairs.
On the Taiwan question, China appreciates the Zambian government's unswerving adherence to the one-China policy and support for China's great cause of national unification, said the president.
Hu put forward a four-point proposal on fulfilling measures announced by China at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-African Cooperation (FOCAC), and on facilitating the in-depth development of relations between China and Zambia:
-- Firstly, strengthening dialogue and consultation to further mutual political trust.
China is willing to maintain frequent contacts between leaders of both sides, and encourages government sectors, legislatures and political parties to strengthen exchanges and dialogue at all levels, he said.
-- Secondly, sticking to the policy of mutual-benefit and a win-win outcome to expand trade and economic cooperation.
The Chinese government supports Zambia's efforts in poverty eradication and economic development, and is willing to provide assistance within its capacity for Zambia's economic development by condoning debts of governmental interest-free loans, expanding zero-tariffs on Zambian goods exported to China, and conducting infrastructure construction, Hu said.
He added that the Chinese government has decided to set up an economic and trade zone in Zambia.
-- Thirdly, boosting exchanges of personnel and enhancing cooperation in areas such as education, culture, sports and human resources development.
The Chinese government will help Zambia build schools in its rural areas and increase scholarship quotas, he said.
-- Fourthly, cementing international cooperation to accelerate the construction of a harmonious world.
Hu said China will coordinate and cooperate with Zambia in important international issues to jointly safeguard the just interests of developing countries, facilitate the South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue, and boost the construction of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
For his part, Mwanawasa said Hu's visit to Zambia and other African nations indicates that Sino-Zambian relations, based on mutual respect, friendliness and cooperation, are continuously developing.
Zambia will strive for the development of its ties with China, and will conduct close cooperation with the Asian country to maintain the sound momentum of development of the FOCAC, he said.
Mwanawasa said the Zambian government will adhere unswervingly to the one-China policy and support China's cause of national unification.
He expressed appreciation for measures proposed by China on deepening the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries, saying China has become a strategic cooperative partner for Africa's development.
The Zambian government and people are grateful for China's unconditional aid for the economic and social development of Zambia, and are pleased that they can benefit from the China-Africa cooperation, Mwanawasa said.
Zambia welcomes China's decision to set up an economic and trade zone in the African country and expects more Chinese enterprises to invest or run businesses in Zambia, in order to expand cooperation in various fields, he said.
After the talks, Hu and Mwanawasa attended the signing ceremony of eight cooperative documents between China and Zambia, covering economic and technological cooperation, as well as the areas of education and culture.
President Hu flew into Lusaka from the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
Zambia is the fourth leg of Hu's eight-nation African tour, which has already taken him to Cameroon, Liberia and Sudan. He will also visit Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.