Fair treatment requested over Chinese detained in Zambia

By Liu Jianxi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/5 23:58:39

Zambia is urged to release 31 Chinese nationals detained earlier for alleged illegal mining activities in the country's copper belt Monday.

Their detention soon triggered an official complaint from China, as the Zambian authority had not only failed to present their credentials during the action, but also had not provided strong proof of the allegations. A pregnant woman and two others with malaria were also among the 31 detained.

An unconfirmed source said the 31 Chinese would be released. If it is proved, the efforts of the Chinese foreign affairs authority is encouraging, under the background that more and more Chinese enterprises are going global.

The Chinese government understands and supports Zambia's efforts to fight against illegal mining and will not tolerate or cover up any criminal activity, as illegal mining disrupts market order and has sparked strong opposition from the local public. However, the Zambian authority reportedly have arrested Chinese nationals without following due law enforcement procedures.

With years of meticulous care and efforts, China and Zambia have established a profound relationship. China firmly supports Zambia's fight for national independence from Western colonization.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu hailed China as a most reliable and all-weather friend and partner of the country. Zambia was also among the first countries in southern Africa to forge diplomatic ties with China in 1964.

The two sides have seen intense trade and economic exchanges as well. China is among Zambia's top investors, bringing more jobs to Zambians, providing business opportunities for local businessmen, and transferring knowledge and technology to the Zambian public.

Beijing played a vital role in the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia railway in the 1970s, and assisted the country to build hospitals, schools and other public facilities. China pledged $60 billion in financing for development across Africa during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015, and Zambia, as a significant country participating in the Belt and Road initiative, will for sure benefit from cooperation with China.

The country is clear that it will lose more than it will gain if it insists on detaining these individuals. Unfair treatment of Chinese nationals will only upset the atmosphere for Sino-Zambian cooperation, a result that will bring no good to either side.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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