A Chinese expert gives a briefing on the Tanzania-Zambia Railway to Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (R) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, on June 25, 2014. Li Yuanchao on Wednesday toured the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) in Tanzania and handed new equipment supplied under loan terms of the 15th Protocol of Economic and Technical Cooperation between China, Tanzania and Zambia. (Xinhua/Zhang Ping)
DAR ES SALAAM, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao on Wednesday toured the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) in Tanzania and handed new equipment supplied under loan terms of the 15th Protocol of Economic and Technical Cooperation between China, Tanzania and Zambia.
Li handed over the equipment, including six forklifts and four mobile cranes, to Tanzanian Minister of Transport Harrison Mwakyembe on behalf of TAZARA.
The Chinese Vice President, who took a short ride on a TAZARA train to Yombo on the outskirts of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, commended the authority and its workers for upkeeping the infrastructure which was built four decades ago.
Li, who is on a six-day official visit to Tanzania, promised to hold further discussions with his colleagues when he goes back to China to find more ways to help TAZARA.
Mwakyembe said that the assistance was part of the pledge made by the Chinese government to help improve TAZARA infrastructure and his country would continue to value the assistance rendered by the People's Republic of China since early 1970s.
"The saying that - a friend in need is a friend indeed - was truly reflected in the assistance provided by China 40 years ago, building the TAZARA railway when Tanzania and Zambia fought to liberate other southern African countries," said the Tanzanian minister.
Mwakyembe said TAZARA was the largest single foreign aid project undertaken by China and the track was built with the highest standards, as evidenced by the infrastructure which remained in good shape after 40 years.
The 15th Protocol of Economic and Technical Cooperation was signed by the three governments of China, Tanzania and Zambia on March 26, 2012 in the Zambian capital Lusaka, with a value of 270 million yuan (about 40 million U.S. dollars) worth of projects to be undertaken in support of TAZARA.
The protocol, which is an interest-free loan, covers the procurement and supply of 18 passenger coaches and accompanying consumables, four new main line locomotives, two shunting locomotives, two rescue cranes and various lifting equipment.