A Big Stage for Cooperation, NOT an Arena
By H.E. Mr. Du Xiaohui, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia
3 April 2023
The Kafue Gorge Lower (KGL) Hydropower Station Project has been completed.
The KGL project has always received high attention from the two heads of state. 5 generators running 7/24, a total installed capacity of 750+12 MW, 3 power lines each carrying 330 KV, and 4.732 billion kWh power generation so far. All the above figures make the KGL a flagship project of China-Zambia “Belt and Road” construction cooperation and the largest infrastructure project in Zambia in the past 40 years. It has become another monument of China-Zambia cooperation.
The KGL project has practical significance in providing a solid guarantee for power supply in Zambia and even southern African countries. It also has a demonstration effect on how the international community can support Zambia’s local economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood in the future. The success of the KGL project is not just a matter of chance. It embodies the spirit of China-Africa friendly cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping, and also demonstrates that China and Zambia have always defended the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
1. Sincere friendship and equality. The KGL project is constructed at the request of the Zambian side. During the construction, China and Zambia treated each other as equals and resolved various difficulties through mutual consultation. This fully demonstrates China’s adherence to the purpose of “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples” and “promoting international cooperation” in the UN Charter. The decision-makers of the two countries have deep mutual trust and high coordination. The builders of the two countries have united and fought side by side. During the period of construction, a friendship firm and long-lasting as the TAZARA Railway has been established.
2. Win-win for mutual benefit and common development. The original intention of China-Zambia relationship is that the “poor brothers” of developing countries help each other and achieve common development through mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. The construction of the KGL project has accumulated local purchases of 2.13 billion Kwachas and also contributed 230 million Kwachas to Zambia’s tax revenue. The constructor Sinohydro Corporation is also actively fulfilling its social responsibilities, supporting the development of local education, medical care, and social welfare in Zambia by co-organizing training school, building wells, roads and bridges for surrounding communities. The purpose of promoting “economic and social progress and development” in the UN Charter has been fulfilled with practical actions.
3. Fairness and justice. The KGL project has encountered both natural disasters and groundless accusations from unfriendly countries. China has always insisted on standing in friends’ shoes. The Sinohydro provided funds on its own. The builders of both sides united as one and faced up to difficulties. The hard work of the builders is to achieve the goal of “enhancing human well-being” in the UN Charter, to maintain fairness and justice in developing countries, and to jointly solve the development deficit.
4. Progress with the times, openness and inclusiveness. Green development is the current trend. China-Zambia cooperation does not exclude third parties. Zambia, as well as Africa, should be a big stage for cooperation between countries, not an arena. The successful completion of the KGL project has provided inexhaustible power for the development of Zambia, provided impetus for the friendly cooperation between China and Zambia, and also provided power for the development of neighboring countries, which fully reflects the openness and inclusiveness of China-Zambia cooperation. China is willing to continue to open its arms and welcomes cooperation with Zambia in various ways to achieve common development and prosperity.