Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema Friday met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing for bilateral talks.
The two leaders agreed to upgrade their ties to a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership”.
China has significant stakes in Zambia’s mining sector while the southern African nation seeks to restructure its mounting external debt with its leading creditor.
President Xi said China and Zambia’s friendship had “withstood the test of international storms and changes” and encouraged more imports from the African country.
President Hichilema said Zambia appreciates the guiding concepts and principles of Chinese-style modernization, and hopes to learn from the Asian country’s development experience.
Zambia defaulted on its $18.6bn (£17bn) foreign debt in 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, becoming the first country on the continent to default on its external debt since the start of the pandemic.