Chinese Foreign Minister concludes Zim visit
Harare (New Ziana) – Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi on Monday met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House as he ended his three day visit to the country.
Wang arrived in Zimbabwe on Saturday as part of the annual five-nation tour by the Chinese Foreign Minister to Africa at the beginning of every year.
Over the past 30 years, China has made it a tradition for its Foreign Minister to visit African countries as the first overseas destination of the year, to show how Beijing values its relations with the continent.
Speaking to journalists, President Mnangagwa said Wang’s visit had been successful.
“He is very happy about the visit and he is very happy that we had occasion to go over our relations between the People’s Republic of China and Zimbabwe on all issues and he goes back home satisfied that our relations are on a solid foundation,” he said.
“What remains is further consolidation and deepening those relations both political and economic.”
President Mnangagwa said the two countries were already enjoying close ties following the upgrading of relations between Zimbabwe and China to the highest level of co-operation known as Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
“We as Zimbabwe are happy with our relations with China,” he said.
On Sunday Wang added his voice to growing calls for the United States and its Western allies to remove sanctions which they imposed on Zimbabwe saying they were not justified in international law and were impeding the country’s development.
Wang was in Zimbabwe on the last leg of his five nation tour that saw him visit Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea and Burundi.
This year marks 40 years of diplomatic ties between Zimbabwe and China, but relations stretch back to the days of the liberation struggle when Beijing supported the war effort through providing military training and logistical support to freedom fighters.
China is one of a few countries outside Africa that stood by Zimbabwe when it faced off with the West over its land reform programme, which culminated in the Southern African country being slapped with punitive sanctions.
At one time, China along with Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution to intervene in Zimbabwe at the instigation of Britain and her allies.
As a show of the good relations between the two countries, China has funded several multi-million dollar infrastructure projects in Zimbabwe including the National Defence University and the Kariba South power plant expansion project.
Chinese companies are also currently building the new $1.3 billion Hwange thermal power station and a new Parliament building which is being built as a gift to the Zimbabwean government at a cost of over $100 million.
The Zimbabwe government on Sunday submitted six new projects for consideration by China to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.
In April 2018, President Mnangagwa made his first overseas State Visit to China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, a trip which yielded funding for several infrastructure projects that had stalled under the previous administration, including expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
During that State Visit, the two countries also signed several co-operation agreements that cover various areas including agriculture, human resources development and economic and technical co-operation.