Chinese deputy premier to visit Namibia

A member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the First Deputy Premier of the State Council, Zhang Gaoli, will visit Namibia where he will sign several agreements with President Hage Geingob later this week.

The high-level visit the first one of this magnitude in six years will take place from August 26 to August 29.

Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, announced the visit on Tuesday morning during a wide-ranging media briefing at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Windhoek.

Zhang described the visit as historic and significant in the two nations' bilateral relations.

It is China's highest-level visit to Namibia in six years and Namibia is the only stop of Hon. Zhang to sub-Saharan Africa. That embodies the great importance China attaches to its relations with Namibia. Hon. Zhang's visit is a significant event of our relations, stated the Chinese ambassador.

During the visit the two sides will exchange views on how to further strengthen and deepen the bilateral cooperation existing between Namibia and China in the spheres of politics, economics and culture, and besides meeting Geingob, Zhang would have a stopover at the Husab Uranium Mine that has created 1,406 jobs for Namibians and contributed N$560 million in taxes to Namibia.

Other landmark projects on the deputy premier's itinerary are the container terminal at Walvis Bay and the space tracking, telemetry and command station, which is the Chinese space tracking station in Swakopmund called the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre.

Zhang will sign a series of bilateral cooperation agreements, including the agreement on economic and technical cooperation of a grant for the new airport road for an amount that will be announced by Geingob to the media only once the agreement has been signed, the ambassador briefed the media.

A memorandum of understanding on human resource development cooperation will also be signed during this high-level visit, while China will also commit itself to fund the feasibility studies for the construction of four rural schools and at the same time undertake to help with Namibia's industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, and provide wildlife protection.

We believe this visit will strongly boost our pragmatic cooperation and promote our 'all-weather' cooperation partnership to a new high, reiterated the Chinese ambassador.

Ambassador Zhang, who has already interacted with various government ministries, has visited the Chairman Mao Zedong Secondary School in Katutura that the Chinese government built to improve learning conditions for Namibian learners. China has provided more than 600 government scholarships and numerous training opportunities for Namibians who have visited China.

He said his appointment comes with a huge responsibility and instead of keeping a blind eye to the challenges that he faces, he has undertaken to work with Namibia to find constructive solutions and uplift the existing bilateral relationship to a new level.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia