By Greyson Chapita:
Malawi and the People’s Republic of China have enjoyed mutual cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two Nations in December 2007 which were formalized a year later in 2008.
Among others, the two countries have worked on projects aimed at attracting investment in Malawi and promoting economic and trade cooperation and exchanges between Malawi and China.
With 13 years down the line, Malawi has benefited a lot from its relationship with China in most areas of development. On the list, Malawi has the construction of Parliament Building, the Bingu International Convention Center, Karonga-Chitipa Road. The spectacular Bingu National Stadium and not forgetting the Malawi University of Science and Technology MUST in Thyolo as some of the imposing structures under the China-Malawi Friendship programs.
The story about China – Malawi Friendship would not be complete if we don’t talk about hundreds of Malawian students who are beneficiaries of various scholarships to attend various programmes in Chinese Universities.
In 2019, Nation Newspaper Journalist Chikondi Moyo was given scholarship to study for a Masters Degree in Media and Communication in Beijing, at the Communication University of China where he majored in New Media. He says his studies in China, revealed to him different opportunities within the available digital media platforms and that he is able to understand world politics and international relations better.
He describes his China experience as being so rewarding; “I had my fears being a foreigner and with no knowledge of Chinese language but thanks to advanced technology in China and the friendliness of its people, I was able to navigate my way to the to the school with ease”.
“At school, it was interesting to see Chinese students interested to learn more about Africa and Malawi in particular. Even though most of my studies were done with fellow international students, we had some modules which brought us together with Chinese students and we could see that the Chinese students were not only accommodating but they also valued the insights and expertise from foreign”, He adds.
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Journalist Davie Umar participated in the Seminar for All-media Reporters of Developing Countries held in May, 2018. Umar speaks positively about the people of China now that “Malawians are able to go and study in China and do business. Similarly, Malawians have also benefitted in the sense that the mutual friendship between the two countries has seen the Chinese coming to Malawi with various development projects that are transforming the lives of ordinary Malawians.
As China is bringing more investments to Malawi, the expectation is that this will generate more jobs through most of the infrastructure that China is putting in place, such as roads and buildings.
The country has also registered an increase in Chinese shops and restaurants that are opening rapidly and have employed more Malawians.
In 2021, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera had a phone conversation with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping where the two leaders stressed that the China-Malawi diplomatic ties, and bilateral relations have witnessed rapid and sound development, with political mutual trust continuously enhanced, friendship between the two peoples constantly deepened, and the two sides understanding and supporting each other in international affair.