Speaking on arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport last night, President Sata, a once fierce critic of China while in the opposition who is now flirting with them, said Zambia was using Chinese personnel in its infrastructure development.
He was responding to remarks by the representative of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) envoys accredited to China, Antonio Inacio.
Inacio, who is Mozambique ambassador to China, said President Sata’s visit to China was important as it would enhance the SADC agenda of regional integration through infrastructure development.President Sata arrived at 21.45 hours.
He was accompanied by Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, Foreign Affairs minister Effron Lungu and Commerce minister Emmanuel Chenda.
The president was welcomed by Chinese vice minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming, Chinese ambassador Zhou Yuxiao, Secretary to the Cabinet Rowland Msiska, Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Margaret Miyoba and Zambia’s ambassador to China Eva Fundafunda.
President Sata is on a seven- day state visit during which he will attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and make a keynote speech.
The President leaves today for Sanya, where he will hold bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
The Boao Forum is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large.
The forum, which aims at promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries towards a common developmental agenda, is modelled after the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland.