The Chinese government recently donated 65 motor vehicles worth US$6 million (about K31.8 billion). The vehicles include 30 protocol saloon cars, 10 protocol coaches and 25 Higher city buses. China's Ambassador Zhou Yuxiao says "the vehicles are intended for two purposes. One is to help the Zambian foreign ministry or State House to establish a standing protocol fleet for receiving foreign delegations and the other is to put more buses in the public sector". Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga says the Zambian Government cherished the assistance it had so far received from China and the new vehicles would boost Government's transport system.
Two observations that are worth noting from a wider appraisal of China's continued engagement in Zambia. First, China continues to demonstrate its ability to adapt to changing political situations. It has made great effort to demonstrate that it deals with the Government of the day not the party. Perhaps again emphasizing that the incentives at home drive its policy abroad. Secondly, the variety of China's bilateral aid. One minute we are talking about weapons, then next day we are talking about buses. This complex variety is challenge as we seek to understand the implications of its continued engagement. What is clear is that China is in it for the long term - and therein lies our leverage if properly utilised.