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Chinese VP meets with Zambia's first president to discuss mutual cooperation

(Xinhua)

08:41, November 25, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kenneth David Kaunda, Zambia's first president, arrived at Beijing's Great Hall of the People to meet with Vice President Xi Jinping Thursday.

"I come on an important mission from my president," Kaunda said to Xi, who hailed the 87-year-old politician as a "founder of friendship" between China and Zambia.

"You came to China despite the long journey as a messenger of friendship, for which I have great admiration," Xi told Kaunda, who is visiting China as a special envoy of Zambian's new President Michael Chilufya Sata, who assumed the presidency on Sept. 23 this year.

"Zambia and its new government will continue to promote friendship and cooperation with China," said Kaunda, who led Zambia's independence campaign and ruled the African state from 1964 to 1991.

The friendship between Zambia and China has endured the test of time, Kaunda said, recalling his meetings with late Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai in the 1960s and 1970s.

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