Economic Diplomacy –
The Case of China and Zambia
Marcov Alexandru Cristian
Economic Diplomacy – The Case of China and Zambia
Former Indian diplomat, Kishan S Rana defines Economic Diplomacy as “the process through which countries tackle the outside world, to maximize their national gain in all the fields of activity including trade, investment and other forms of economically beneficial exchanges, where they enjoy comparative advantage.; it has bilateral, regional and multilateral dimensions, each of which is important”.
China has emphatically registered its presence on the African economic and political landscape in the last decade. Among other ...view middle of the document...
China – Zambia Relations
China and Zambia established diplomatic relations on October 29, 1964 and Independent Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda had famously called China his country’s ‘all weather friend’ in the early 1980s. During the period of President Kaunda (1964 - 1991), China provided active support to the Zambian government in its efforts to consolidate political independence and struggle against western colonialist control. President Kaunda visited China four times before 1990.
China and Zambia have signed several bilateral and multilateral trade agreements as well as agreements on economic and technical cooperation. Since 1967, China has undertaken 35 aid-projects such as Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA), roads, maize flour factory, textile mill, well and water supply, etc. Of the projects, 33 have been completed.
In 1996, the two sides started the joint management of Mulungushi Textile Mill, which was built with Chinese aid in 1982, thus increasing its profits considerably. In 1997, the Bank of China opened its Zambian branch, which was the first branch opened by the bank in the sub-Saharan region. In the same year, the China Investment and Trade Developing Center was set up in Zambia. In 1998, China National Nonferrous Metals Industry Construction Co. (Group) bought the Zambian Chambishi Copper Mine for USD 20 million. The mine started operation in July 2000. The Investment and Trade Developing Center opened business in June 2001. Bilateral trade volume between the two countries in 2002 reached USD 83.247 million, of which Chinese export reached US$ 46.056 million, and import USD 37.191 million.
Since 1978 and until late 2003, China has admitted in all 180 Zambian students. China began to send teachers to work in the University of Zambia in 1992. Since 1978, China has sent medical teams to Zambia as a form of aid. China expressed interest in helping the country build a multi-million dollar national sports stadium that would be ready for the All Africa Games that Zambia hosts in 2011.
It is reported that Chinese companies have invested in over 140 projects and created 11 000 jobs, quoted Xinhua from Zambia Times. Investment tends to concentrate on agriculture, machinery processing, mining, and tourism, totaling over US$ 80 million.
Disasters related to Chinese Investment in Zambia
One of the worst industrial accidents in Zambian history, occurred in 2005 when a blast at a Chinese-owned explosives factory in Chambishi killed 46 people, most of them in their 20s.
The Mulungushi Textile Mill set up in 1982, slowed down by 2007 and was closed in 2008. The mills managers allegedly resorted to buying raw cotton for export to China’s humming textile industry. “We are back where we started,” said Wilfred Collins Wonani, from the Kabwe Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Zambia, sighing at the loss of one of the city’s biggest employers. “Sending raw...