Chinese Ambassador Zhang Qingyang is leaving Malawi after a two-year tour of duty.
Zhang arrived in Malawi in 2014 at a time Chinese-funded development projects such as the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) were at various stages of development.
He also oversaw the completion of the Bingu National Stadium and Umodzi Park which is housing the President’s Hotel and presidential villas in Lilongwe, among other projects which the Chinese government financed in Malawi.
Speaking at a farewell reception on Friday organised by the Egyptian Ambassador in Lilongwe, Zhang said he was optimistic about Malawi’s future.
“Malawians are hard-working people and that means things will change for the better. As long as China is there, we will make it a point to help the country with what we have.
“Although I am leaving the country, my heart will always be here. China will also be available for Africa, especially developing countries such as Malawi,” he said.
Egyptian Ambassador Maher El-Adawy said China has been a good friend of Africa, especially Cairo, as relations between China and Egypt date back to 1956.
“We organised this farewell reception as this year we are celebrating 60 years of fruitful ties with China. We have a number of events throughout the year in honour of that.
“Let me congratulate China through the ambassador and his wife for the significant contribution towards Malawi’s development. I am sure more is coming, particularly with the recent visit of the Chinese foreign affairs minister,” he said.
On his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda said Qingyang was result-oriented.
The minister said Malawi is benefiting a lot from China in the area of infrastructure development since the two countries signed bilateral relations in 2007.
“Since that time, the Chinese government has been supporting Malawi in many areas, including infrastructure development, skills training, among others.
“We are thankful to the Chinese government for all the support rendered to us. Let me also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Ambassador Zhang for being instrumental in monitoring the completion of some Chinese sponsored projects in the country, as well as bringing Chinese investors to Malawi,” Chaponda said.
Malawi went into diplomatic relations with China in December 2007 after switching from Taiwan aka the Republic of China whose relations dated back to the 1960s.