BEIJING, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday met with Zambian President Edgar Lungu ahead of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Stressing the fact that Zambia was the first country in southern Africa to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, Xi said the Chinese government and the Chinese people have always had special and friendly feelings towards Zambia.
China is ready to work with Zambia to uphold the fine tradition of friendship and cooperation, promote bilateral ties in a strategic and long-term perspective, and continue to show mutual understanding and support each other on issues involving their respective core interests and major concerns, said Xi.
Identifying the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) as an enduring monument to China-Zambia and China-Africa friendship, Xi urged the two sides to further work together to revitalize it in the new era.
Based on the construction of economic cooperation zones, the two countries should deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, expand people-to-people exchanges, and devote efforts to plan and prepare for the activities marking the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-Zambia ties next year, Xi said.
Both countries should strengthen the coordination on major international and regional issues to safeguard the common interests of developing countries, Xi added.
Lungu recalled the beginning of the two countries' friendship, which was forged and nurtured by elder generations of leaders including Zambia's founding President Kenneth Kaunda and the late Chairman Mao Zedong.
Zambia cherishes the friendship with China built on sincerity and equality, and appreciates China's long-term help, especially China's selfless assistance in building the TAZARA, said Lungu.
He also expressed strong confidence in China's development and Zambia's willingness to join China in building the Belt and Road, expand the cooperation in various fields under the FOCAC framework, promote the development of Africa and sub-regions, and contribute to the building of an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.
After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents.