Handle relations with China delicately, Mundubile prods HH
By NATION REPORTER
Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Brian Mundubile has advised President Hakainde Hichilema to urgently visit his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to cement the warm relations that exist between Zambia and China.
Mr Mundubile cautioned the United Party for National Development (UPND) administration to delicately handle Zambia’s relations with China given the strong support that the Chinese Government had rendered to Zambia, especially in infrastructure development.
“The President has been to the United States three to four times, since he came into power but has never been to China yet China is so important to us. It is is very important that the President makes a trip to China top on his priority, especially that there are sentiments that have come from America connecting him to diluting the influence of China in this country,” Mr Mundubile said.
He was reacting to a tweet by United States Senator, Jim Risch in which he praised President Hichilema for working hard to curb China’s malign and predatory influence in Zambia.
Mr Mundubile, who is Patriotic Front Presidential candidate, said it is important for the Zambian Government to frown upon any attempts by other countries to create divisions between Zambia and China “The sentiments that came from one senator in America concerning China and how President Hichilema would be an agent to dilute China’s influence on Zambia were most unfortunate. I want to take this opportunity to implore the current President to come out very strongly in support of China and remind nations world over that we will not allow any country to choose who our friend is,” Mr Mundubile said.
He said Zambia boasts of massive infrastructure such as roads as well as stadia in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, among others, due to the strong support that the country has received from China.
“We are at a position where we accessed an International Monetary Fund loan on condition that we renegotiate our debt with our creditors and 30 percent of that debt is actually coming from China and now if we get sentiments of that nature coming from America, that could jeopardise those negotiations. It means that going forward, even the economic gains or plans that the UPND have may not come to fruition, “Mr Mundubile said.
He urged President Hichilema to visit his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping as a matter of priority, especially after the sentiments by Senator Risch. “I think he needs to go to China to meet the authorities, meet the Chinese Government to redeem this country of those attempts that have been made and insinuated by foreign nations or other countries in going forward,” Mr Mundubile said.
He expressed concern that President Hichilema did not adequately respond to the question on Zambian with Zambia’s relations with China during the press conference held recently.