Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday in a phone conversation with Zambian President Edgar Lungu that the two countries' joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to help lift their relations to a higher level, better benefiting the two peoples.
Noting that the novel coronavirus pandemic stands as a grim crisis and test for the world, Xi said that China and Africa, in the face of the outbreak, have firmly stood together, supporting each other and joining hands in the fight.
He said African countries including Zambia delivered invaluable support to China in the early days of its epidemic fight, and China, who empathized with them when they were hit by the virus, took the lead in providing support and anti-epidemic supplies as well as in sharing the experience in virus prevention and control so as to help improve their anti-coronavirus work.
The Chinese president said that he has repeatedly called for strengthening the support to African countries, adding that China is stepping up the implementation of related measures, and will continue to do what it can to help Zambia and other African countries beat the virus and restore economic and social development.
Xi said he also believes that the normal life and work of Chinese nationals and operations of Chinese enterprises in Zambia will continue to be guaranteed by the Zambian side.
Xi stressed that in recent years, the friendly and cooperative relations between China and Zambia have maintained a good momentum, and they have supported each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns.
Although the pandemic has brought difficulties to face-to-face bilateral exchanges, the solidarity and cooperation between China and Zambia have been advancing, Xi said, adding that China stands ready to work with Zambia to tide over the difficulties, implement the outcomes of the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19, and figure out flexible and diverse ways to steadily advance bilateral cooperation while striving to bring the COVID-19 outbreak under control.
The two countries should step up coordination and cooperation to firmly defend international fairness and justice, uphold multilateralism, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, said Xi.
Xi added that he believes the two countries' joint fight against the pandemic will help lift China-Zambia relations to a higher level, better benefiting the two peoples.
For his part, Lungu said Zambia highly values its friendship with China and is grateful for China's enormous and precious help to his country's economic development over the years.
Zambia speaks highly of Xi's proposals made at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 held in June and thanks China for its support to Africa's anti-virus fight, he said, adding that he believes that China's successful experience and achievements in vaccine and medicine research and development results will help step up African countries' confidence and play a significant role in their fight to beat the virus.
China is a great friend of the Zambian people, said Lungu. Zambia will firmly stand together with China on issues regarding its core interests, staying committed to its adherence to the one-China policy and firmly supporting the Chinese government's legitimate position and measures on the issues related to Hong Kong and Xinjiang, among others, he said.
The Zambian president added that his country welcomes investment from Chinese enterprises, and is willing to conduct close communication and coordination with the Chinese side, and work together to strengthen multilateral cooperation and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.