Obey rules, Zambia's Sata tells China

2011-09-26 15:17

Lusaka - New Zambian President Michael Sata told Beijing on Monday he welcomed Chinese companies investing in Africa's biggest copper producer but only if they obeyed the law, especially by employing more Zambian workers.

In his first official appointment since being elected president on Friday , Sata met Chinese ambassador Zhou Yuxiao to dispel fears his sometimes fierce anti-Chinese rhetoric while in opposition would translate into a shift in investment policy.

However, he also made clear that Chinese companies that have so far ploughed more than $2bn into developing the mining sector in the southern African country would not be getting preferential treatment.

"We welcome your investment but as we welcome your investment, your investment should benefit Zambians and not the Chinese," Sata said.

"It is in law that all investors who are coming to Zambia should bring a limited number of expatriates whom they cannot find in Zambia. My party has taken concern at the unlimited number of people your investors are bringing to Zambia."

Zhou did not specifically address the foreign workers issue, telling a news conference Chinese investment was predicated on "win-win co-operation".

Even though China is a major player in the former British colony, its presence is not universally appreciated.

Miners frequently complain about poor pay and working conditions in Chinese-run mines in the Copper Belt, and in 2005 several miners were shot and wounded after complaining to management about their salaries.

Chinese building projects also employ many Chinese labourers to the disgruntlement of Zambian construction workers.

Non-Chinese mining companies in Zambia include London-listed Vedanta Resources , Canada's First Quantum Minerals and Swiss commodity giant Glencore's Mopani local unit.

First Quantum's share price has fallen 30% since the September 20 election, while Vedanta has shed 15%.

  • IC1 - 2011-09-26 15:31

    Well at least here's a man who is taking a stance against these bloody chinese, well done Sir! PS: JZ seems you may be able to learn a thing or two from Mr Sata, take notes please

      Wonderboy - 2011-09-26 17:09

      I wonder if it is not too late already. Mr Sata is probably the governor of the chinese for their province of Zambia.

  • charliewoo - 2011-09-26 15:35

    Well done President Sata, otherwise the chinese will overrun Africa. Pity the ANC do not learn a few lessons here.

  • africanwolf - 2011-09-26 15:37

    I hope our President will take example and stop all Chinese imports in order to start manufacturing locally. Chinese goods are bad quality and do not contribute to SA economy. South Africans can't work for the salaries they pay in China

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-09-26 15:49

    Proof...Africa still has a few real leaders.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-26 17:08

      or maybe proof that Africa is starting to mature in this regard?

      Kevin - 2011-09-26 18:53

      He also sings Robert Mugabe's praises!

  • beicime - 2011-09-26 15:52

    China doesn't care about other countries like the Western "imperialist: world does. China will take all the food and oil from Africa to feed their people.

  • Bill - 2011-09-26 15:55

    Hallo!! some brains!! and balls!! and strategic thinking!!and common sense!! Preseident Zuma--take note!

      Louis Olivier - 2011-09-26 16:31

      Zuma is an undereducated idiot who would welcome anyone into the country if the bribe is sizable.

  • newman12 - 2011-09-26 18:40

    Bravo Mr Sata!......looks like we have Zambia and Botswana now as countries that truely understand what it will take to improve the lot of their people.

  • Antonio da Cruz - 2011-09-26 19:51

    African leaders sell their souls and birthright for a couple of million dollars in a Swiss bank account and then complain when the Chinese take what is agreed. Look at the Zimbabwean indigenous peoples that were given free farm lands and have now sold them back to "always will be advantaged" people. To reach a great height a person needs to have great depth.

  • Lydia - 2011-09-30 09:12

    well,this is a good stance

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