"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

China to finance Malawi sports and leisure development

The government of the People's Republic of China is to finance the
construction of a sports complex, an international conference centre, a
university complex and a five-star hotel in Malawi.

China's Deputy Minister of Commerce, Gao Hucheng,
says the Chinese government will finance these projects in addition
ongoing projects that were being backrolled by the Taiwanese government
before Malawi severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favour of the
mainland in December last year.

This took place after the Asian
economic giant had reportedly dangled $6-billion in development aid for
the impoverished Southern African country.

Consequently, the
Taiwanese government abandoned all the projects it had been financing
in Malawi, including the construction of the $45-million
Karonga–Chitipa road, in the northern region of the country, and the
construction of a Parliamentary complex in the capital, Lilongwe.

government of the People's Republic of China is ready to finance the
projects that were abandoned by the Taiwanese in addition to the new
projects," says Hucheng, who recently led a 46-member Chinese
delegation to Malawi. Its main objective was to explore for investment
opportunities in the African country.

Hucheng says China is
currently seeking a contractor for the Karonga–Chitipa road project,
which a Taiwanese contractor abandoned in its preliminary phase.

government of China announced earlier this year that it would hire a
contractor from within the Southern African Development Community
region to build the Karonga–Chitipa road project because it would take
a long time for a Chinese contractor to mobilise and ship equipment to

Engineers from China have already inspected the project
and concluded that it would be completed in two years; the Taiwanese
who had planned to implement the project in four years.

"We are
aware of the importance of completing this important road project, and
we are working to ensure that work resumes as soon as possible," says

With regard to the Parliamentary complex, Hucheng says
Chinese designers are inspecting the structure abandoned by the
Taiwanese and that the process to identify a new contractor is at an
advanced stage.

Currently, Malawi's Parliamentary secretariat
is housed in a rented building, while Parliamentary sessions are held
at the New State House, in Lilongwe, which is the official residence of
President Bingu wa Mutharika.

China has pledged to finance all
projects abandoned by the Taiwanese and other new projects, including
components of the $6-billion Shire-Zambezi waterway.

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