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Chinese VP in Zambia to sign loans, grants accords

LUSAKA, Zambia--Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao kicked off a three-day visit to Zambia on Wednesday by signing development loan and grant agreements worth US$64 million.

Li and his Zambian counterpart Guy Scott signed a US$32-million interest-free loan and a grant of similar value for economic and technical aid.

Zambia will use the funds to improve its water reticulation system in rural areas, upgrade the country's only international airport in Lusaka and improve education facilities, among a raft of other projects.

Local media reported that eight agreements would be penned during Li's visit.

China is Zambia's top foreign investor, but relations have occasionally been tense because of China's preponderant presence in Africa's copper giant.

A Chinese manager was killed during a 2012 riot over wages at a coal mine.

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