Zambia defends Chinese

Zambia defends Chinese

LUSAKA – Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has vowed to fight political opponents who try to limit or frustrate Chinese investments in the mineral-rich southern African nation, local media reported yesterday.

The growing presence of Chinese firms in Zambia has prompted an anti-Chinese backlash in some parts of the country, with the main opposition party accusing Mwanawasa of allowing the Asian newcomers to exploit workers. “I know that there are some people fighting the Chinese,” Mwanawasa said in comments broadcast by state television on Sunday as he launched a programme that will see the government and Chinese firms do more to help local communities.”I am determined to fight them (opponents) because I want to give Zambians what is best,” he said in Chambishi, a town 420 km north of the capital Lusaka, in the company of Li Qiangmin, China’s ambassador to Zambia.Mwanawasa, who defeated opposition leader Michael Sata in a presidential election last year that was marked by anti-Chinese sentiment, described as “unscrupulous” those who were campaigning against Chinese investments in Zambia.Zambia’s government expects new Chinese investments will peak at US$1,4 billion in the next four years as the resource-hungry Asian giant expands its economic influence in Zambia and other parts of Africa.The China Non-Ferrous Metals Corporation is among those that are expanding their investments in Zambia.The firm plans to invest US$100 million to expand the Chambishi copper mine through its NFC Africa subsidiary, Li said on Sunday.Nampa-Reuters”I know that there are some people fighting the Chinese,” Mwanawasa said in comments broadcast by state television on Sunday as he launched a programme that will see the government and Chinese firms do more to help local communities.”I am determined to fight them (opponents) because I want to give Zambians what is best,” he said in Chambishi, a town 420 km north of the capital Lusaka, in the company of Li Qiangmin, China’s ambassador to Zambia.Mwanawasa, who defeated opposition leader Michael Sata in a presidential election last year that was marked by anti-Chinese sentiment, described as “unscrupulous” those who were campaigning against Chinese investments in Zambia.Zambia’s government expects new Chinese investments will peak at US$1,4 billion in the next four years as the resource-hungry Asian giant expands its economic influence in Zambia and other parts of Africa.The China Non-Ferrous Metals Corporation is among those that are expanding their investments in Zambia.The firm plans to invest US$100 million to expand the Chambishi copper mine through its NFC Africa subsidiary, Li said on Sunday.Nampa-Reuters

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