The Chinese government has conferred a Sino-African Friendship award on first Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
The award follows Dr Kaunda’s successful trip to China where he was voted as one of the five Africans who moved the entire Chinese people the most.
The award is voted by the informed Chinese general public on the internet across all China, and proves Dr Kaunda’s lasting popularity since he had been heard by the Chinese people about 42 years ago.
Speaking at a breakfast reception in Lusaka today, to celebrate the successful conclusion of the 4th Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) and Dr Kaunda’s trip back from China where he went to receive the award today, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Li Qiangmin said the Chinese people cherish the sincere friendship that exists between Zambia and the Chinese people.
Mr Qiangmin said China’s support to Africa’s development would remain concrete and tangible, adding that whatever changes that mighty take place in the world, China’s policy of supporting Africa’s economic and social development will never change.
He disclosed that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed eight new policy measures during his keynote address to the conference that the Chinese government aimed at strengthening the Sino-Africa cooperation in the next three years from 2010 to 2012.
The Chinese Ambassador said based on the concerns raised by African countries on the implementation of the last eight measures, China decided to customize the new eight measures stressing more on helping Africa to overcome the financial crisis and improve African people’s living standards.
He said as the first of the eight new measures, China has proposed to establish a China- Africa partnership in addressing climate change where china would build 100 clean energy projects for Africa covering solar power, bio-gas and small hydro power stations.
“China will enhance cooperation with Africa in Science and technology. China would carry out 100 joint demonstration projects with Africa and receive 100 African postdoctoral fellows to conduct research in China. Third china will help Africa build up financial capacity”, he said.
Mr. Qiangmin revealed that Chiana would also provide US$10 billion in concessional loans to African countries, and support Chinese financial institutions in setting up a special loan of $1 billion for small and medium-size African businesses.
The other new measures include the opening up of the Chinese market to African products, enhance further cooperation in agriculture, their deepening of cooperation in medical care and health, and enhance cooperation in human resources development and education in addition to the expansion of people to people cultural exchange.
And speaking at the same function, Dr Kaunda said the relationship between China and Zambia was based on strong human relationships that have existed for a long time now.
Dr Kaunda said the Chinese people have looked beyond the issue of race and color which had been the source of many divisions in the world and has partnered with their African bothers and sisters for their betterment.
He said the old generation of Chinese and African people worked hard to build the relationship that exist between the two continents, saying the task is now on the new generation to continue fostering the relationship.
Dr Kaunda has since urged the new generation of Chinese and Zambian people to continue helping to carry on the honorable relationship between China and Zambia.