Zim, China sign ‘several agreements’
© CHINA, whose Foreign minister Wang Yi jetted into the country on Saturday evening, and Zimbabwe yesterday signed a number of agreements expected to boost economic and political ties between the two countries.
Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, who is on his fifth and final assignment in Africa after a five-nation visit, told journalists after meeting his Zimbabwean counterpart Sibusiso Moyo in the capital that the relationship between his country, Africa and Zimbabwe in particular was significant.
“China-Zimbabwe relations have made fruitful results. I had a very productive meeting with … minister Moyo and reached many important agreements,” Wang told the journalists, without giving finer details.
He said the mutual support and trust between Zimbabwe and China helped the two countries to stand together over the years.
Wang also condemned economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and the West and called for their immediate removal.
“I wish also to add that the unilateral sanctions imposed by some countries and organisations on Zimbabwe have no basis in international law and they violate the legitimate interests of Zimbabwe. China fully supports the just aspirations of Zimbabwe and African countries to quickly remove those sanctions on Zimbabwe,” he said.
Moyo, on the other hand, praised China for the economic and infrastructure development support it has offered to Zimbabwe.
Among other projects, China is supporting the construction of a new Parliament building currently underway in Mt Hampden, the expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and Hwange power plant expansion, among other projects.
“We discussed numerous issues ranging from political, economic, social and cultural and other matters which we believe are well embedded in mutual interest. The meeting was very successful and we are looking forward it will get to greater heights,” Moyo said.
He said China expressed interest in having imports from Zimbabwe in the form of citrus fruits and beef, among other products, as well as supporting the agricultural sector.
Speaking after welcoming his Chinese counterpart on Saturday night, Moyo hailed the visit by his Chinese counterpart as a perfect opportunity for the two countries to follow up on issues which came up when presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Xi Jinping met in China in 2018.
“We believe that we are honoured to have the state counsellor coming to Zimbabwe as a follow-up to issues that were discussed between President Mnangagwa and President Xi twice, during his State visit to China and during The Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC),” Moyo said.
FOCAC is a platform established by China and friendly African countries for collective consultation and dialogue and as a cooperation mechanism among developing countries. It seeks to strengthen consultation and expand cooperation in addition to promoting political dialogue and economic cooperation.
At the last FOCAC Summit held in Beijing in 2018, President Xi extended an unconditional US$60 billion in loans and aid to Africa until 2021.
Moyo added that the two countries would hold comprehensive deliberations under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnerships theme to boost economic and cultural ties. The Asian giant, which is Zimbabwe’s biggest investor, is expected to strengthen its ties further with Zimbabwe to mark the two countries’ diplomatic relations which have clocked four decades.
Wang is expected today to meet with Mnangagwa before flying back to Beijing. Last night acting president Constantino Chiwenga hosted a reception for him at a local hotel.