Humanities

Kenneth Kaunda, an old friend of the Chinese people!

Seetao 2021-06-29 15:59
  • Kaunda gives long-term care and support to the rooted development of Chinese civil engineering in Africa
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18 Minutes

On June 17, 2021, Kenneth Kaunda, the founding president of Zambia and the veteran of the African National Liberation Movement, died of illness at the age of 97. Kaunda is known as the father of Zambia, a brave African anti-colonial fighter, and an old friend of the Chinese people. The concept of "all-weather friends" he created is time-honored, vividly describing China-Zambia and China-Africa relations. In the course of the development of Chinese civil engineering, Kaunda, as the head of state of Zambia, together with the leaders of China and Tanzania, made the great decision to build the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. The rooted development of civil engineering in Africa gives long-term care and support.

Road to Freedom Road to Friendship

In 1967, Kaunda visited China for the first time and was cordially received by Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai.

President Kaunda visits Chairman Mao Zedong

His Excellency Kaunda said: "This railway that sowed the seeds of Sino-African friendship is called the road of freedom and the road of friendship by the people of Tanzania and Zambia and the whole of Africa." After that visit to China, His Excellency Kaunda creatively proposed The term "all-weather friend" is used. Since then, "all-weather friends" have been used on different occasions to describe China-Zambia and China-Africa relations.

China will always be our friend

On September 5, 1967, the governments of China, Tanzania, and Zambia held their first meeting in Beijing and signed the "Agreement on the Construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway." China helped Tanzania and Zambia to build the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. After the project was signed, China Civil Engineering (formerly the Foreign Aid Office of the Ministry of Railways) organized and undertook the survey, design, construction, vehicle supply, trial operation and maintenance of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway on behalf of the Chinese government, and undertook technical cooperation tasks for many years.

Tanzania-Zambia Railway Signing Ceremony

Kaunda delivered a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway

On October 26 and 28, 1970, the groundbreaking ceremony of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Kapirim Poshi, Zambia, respectively, announcing the official start of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. His Excellency Kaunda mentioned in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony that he thanked China for its selfless support for the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. The Chinese people and the Chinese government respect our developing economic and social system. This respect is mutual. China will always be our friend.

Dream come true

"Now, here, in front of us, the dream has come true!" said His Excellency Kaunda at the celebration of the completion and trial operation of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway in 1975. The crowd was surging at the scene, witnessing this historical moment together.

Celebration of the completion and trial operation of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway opened to traffic, crowds cheered and celebrated

Kaunda inspects the rolling stock factory of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway

Kaunda meets with Li Yaowen, then Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania

Kaunda visits the Da city machine factory of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway was surveyed and designed on April 12, 1968, construction started on October 26, 1970, and the entire line was laid on June 7, 1975. It was fully completed and put into trial operation on October 23 of the same year, and was officially handed over on July 14, 1976. The governments of Tanzania and Zambia.

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway is 1,860.5 kilometers long. The older generation of builders overcome all dangers and built this railway known as the "Road of Friendship, Road of Freedom" with sweat, blood and even life. This railway has witnessed the extraordinary years of the Chinese and African people sharing weal and woe, fighting side by side, indomitable and self-improving, and has made an indelible contribution to the development and prosperity of Africa. To this day, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway still plays a role in the development of the two countries and neighboring countries.

Construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway train runs on the Mma section of the line

On November 3, 2017, at the opening ceremony of the 40th Anniversary of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, co-organized by the Chinese Embassy in Zambia and the Lusaka National Museum (National Museum of China), and co-organized by the China Civil Engineering Zambia Corporation, the 93-year-old Excellency Kaunda In his speech, he said: "The people of Zambia are very grateful to the Chinese people for their huge human and material resources in helping us build the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. There are even Chinese brothers who have sacrificed their lives in order to build the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. These sacrifices and dedications, we will not forget."

Starting from undertaking the construction of China’s first overseas railway-the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, after decades of struggling and leaping forward, today’s civil engineering business in China covers infrastructure project contracting, international design consulting, investment and financing, operation and maintenance management, etc. The ability and advantages of operating integrated investment, construction, and operation projects in the global market have covered 105 countries and regions around the world.

On December 27, 2018, when the office building of the China Civil Engineering Zambia Company was opened, His Excellency Kaunda also delivered a speech: “As a 94-year-old man, as the founding president of Zambia, I am proud of you. What you have done Contribution makes me feel honored."

Zambia-China cooperation reaches new heights

The African people have never forgotten the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, and the motherland has never forgotten the builders of a foreign land. In the process of aid-Zambia construction, 36 Chinese experts gave their precious lives to sleep in a foreign land and used their blood to forge the road of Sino-African friendship. In order to carry forward the heroic spirit, inherit the friendship between China and Zambia, and deepen friendly cooperation, the two governments decided to build the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Memorial Park. China Civil Engineering has once again undertaken the construction of the memorial garden.

At the groundbreaking ceremony of the memorial garden on May 13, 2019, His Excellency Kaunda once said that China was and is still a good friend of the African people. The Zambian people will never forget the selfless dedication of the Chinese people over the years. The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Memorial Park will become a symbol of friendly cooperation between the two countries and will always remind the people of the two countries not to forget the history and hope that Zambia-China cooperation will reach a new height.

Group photo of guests at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Memorial Park project

Aerial view of the office building of China Civil Engineering Zambia Company

Over the years, China Civil Engineering Zambia has been actively implementing the One Belt One Road initiative, with the vision of improving infrastructure in Southern Africa and creating a better life as its enterprise. It has continuously optimized its business ideas in accordance with the country, time and conditions, and successfully signed the Zambia Eastern Line Railway. A series of major projects such as projects. In addition, based on the construction of the Kraft River Water Supply Project, a major local livelihood project, the Zambian company is actively developing water projects in Zambia and surrounding markets, creating a water supply section with Chinese civil engineering characteristics, and achieving rolling development through dry promotion. In the future, China Civil Engineering will continue to implement the Belt and Road Initiative, and on the basis of inheriting the Tanzan Railway spirit of “same development, shared destiny, boundless love, and courageous responsibility”, it will carry forward the enterprise spirit of “diligence, integrity and perseverance”. Forget the original intention, live up to the mission, and build and operate various projects with high quality. Editor/He Yuting