China, Zimbabwe sign agreement for various projects


April 4, 2018 By Joseph S. Margai in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Zimbabwean’s Emmerson Mnangagwa have on Tuesday (April 3) signed an agreement to embark on various projects in the Southern Africa nation.

The signing of the agreement was done at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China between the two heads of state.

The Zimbabwean president, who is currently on a one week state visit to China, is on his first official visit outside of Africa since assuming power last November, in the world’s second largest economic country.

“China and Zimbabwe have enjoyed close relations. We have treated each other equally with mutual respect and maintained political mutual trust. We have also deepened cooperation in trade and economy, and people-to-people exchanges,” said President Xi Jinping.

He added that China-Zimbabwe ties have witnessed new opportunities in the new era, noting that China is willing to map out a new blueprint for the development of China-Zimbabwe ties and strengthen cooperation in various fields, so as to bring more benefits to citizens in both countries.

President Mnangagwa said he was grateful for the warm reception and hospitality extended by the Chinese government to him and his delegation since they arrived in Beijing.

He expressed appreciation for the numerous supports his country has been getting from the Chinese government, especially after the peaceful political transition in Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa also highly praised China’s vision and Xi’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

“I was in China in the 1960s where I acquired some military training experience in Nanjing. Truly, China has witnessed tremendous development. I hope my visit will help boost the development of China-Zimbabwe relations,” he said.

Immediately after signing the agreement, the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, in-charge of African Affairs, Chen Xiaodong, held a press briefing on President Mnangagwa’s visit and told journalists that China attaches no political strings to its aid to Africa.

He noted that China believe in teaching people how to fish instead of giving them fish to eat always.

“We have been controlling the size of the loans given to African countries in order to enhance sustainable development. We have been supporting tangible developments that have benefited China-Africa cooperation,” he said.

He said President Mnangagwa spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative and how it has and will continue to benefit the African people.

He informed the media that the Zimbabwe president has assured that his government would continue to provide the enabling environment for Chinese investments, adding that he has also promised to make available visa for Chinese citizens to visit Zimbabwe and establishment enterprises.

He recalled that when President Xi was elected in 2013, he toured the African continent, where he stressed on the principle of justice, shared future and win-win cooperation for sustainable development.