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Chinese Leader to Arrive in Zambia for Economic Talks


Chinese President Hu Jintao continues his eight-nation tour of Africa Saturday in the Zambian capital of Lusaka.

Mr. Hu will hold talks with Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa on trade and development issues involving the two nations. Beijing is a major investor in the southern African nation's lucrative copper sector, and has financed a number of infrastructure projects.

But many Zambians say Beijing is exploiting their country and its natural resources to fuel China's energy-hungry economy.

The potential of protests has forced Mr. Hu and his delegation to cancel a planned visit to a Chinese-run copper mine in the town of Chambesi, where at least 50 miners died in an explosion in 2005. Chinese companies have been accused of paying low wages and creating poor working conditions.

The Chinese leader's visit to Zambia follows stops in Cameroon, Liberia and Sudan. He signed agreements with leaders in those countries on such matters as trade and debt relief.