BEIJING – China and Zambia have upgraded their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, Chinese state broadcaster reported on Friday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on Friday, said both countries should continue to enhance friendship and cooperation, as well as strengthen solidarity and collaboration.
Xi also said China and Zambia should safeguard the common interests of developing countries, according to state media.
According to the readout, Hichilema said Zambia admired China’s role “in actively promoting change in the global order so that the global South can take its rightful place in the world”.
This is amidst the debt distress Zambia is facing.
Zambia, whose total debt amounted to $32.8 billion at the end of 2022, defaulted on its $18.6 billion foreign debt in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The nation became the first on the continent to default on its foreign debt since the start of the pandemic.
A restructuring deal involving foreign lenders and covering about a third of the tab was struck in late June following a two-day Paris summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, welcomed Zambia’s agreement with Official Creditors under the G20 Common Framework; the formation of the official creditor committee for Ghana and called for a swift conclusion of the debt treatment for Ethiopia.