Zimbabwe’s Mugabe welcomes China’s Jinping

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe welcomes China’s President Xi Jinping as 'true and dear friend' of Zimbabwe

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Robert Mugabe shakes hands with Xi Jinping as the Chinese president arrives in Harare on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe has welcomed his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday ahead of the Chinese president’s trip to South Africa.
The 91-year-old Mugabe met Jinping at the airport of Zimbabwe's capital Harare as hundreds of children carried Chinese and Zimbabwean flags along the road.
Mugabe said "The people of Zimbabwe are overjoyed to host you," at the state house where he described Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, as "true and dear friends of the people of Zimbabwe."
After talks were held between both presidents, 10 different agreements were signed by their ministers on issues such as energy, aviation, and telecommunications.

"I am glad that Zimbabwe and China speak the same language on many issues," Mugabe said.

"We share the same conviction that only a fair, just and non-prescriptive world order, based on the principles of the charter of the United Nations, can deliver the development we all need."

Jinping expressed full confidence in the countries' bilateral relations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry official Zhang Ming said in the statement, ''China expects to, through this visit, deepen China-Zimbabwe traditional friendship and political mutual trust, make overall planning for future development of bilateral relations, promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation in sectors...''. and ''to translate bilateral friendship into more tangible outcomes beneficial to the peoples, exchange in-depth views on international and regional topics and strengthen solidarity and coordination among developing countries.''

Zimbabwe Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said, "There is a lot of interest in all sectors of the economy from Chinese investors."

"This visit gives a guide to Chinese investors that Zimbabwe is a safe destination for their investments," he added.

Economically and politically the two countries have strong relations. China is Zimbabwe's biggest foreign investor, investing $600 million into the country in 2013.

China built Zimbabwe’s National Sports Stadium in the 1980s as well as rural hospitals, the country’s biggest shopping mall, and also provided loans for water schemes and power stations.

Moreover, China offered to finance the construction of a new parliament building and to donate equipment for the protection of wildlife.
Chinese President Jinping said, :The extraordinary development of China-Zimbabwe relations shows that our friendship is rooted in the cultural tradition of our two countries that values sincerity and friendship." 

The Chinese president will fly to Johannesburg on Wednesday ahead of a China-Africa summit.

According to China's Xinhua state news agency the volume of trade between China and Africa reached $220 billion in 2014. Chinese investments in Africa amounted to $32.4 billion at the end of 2014, according to London-based BMI Research.

Although China is Africa’s largest trade partner since 2009, Chinese investment in Africa decreased more than 40 percent in the first half of 2015. 
Jinping will travel to South Africa to hold talks with South African President Jacob Zuma, before the China-Africa Summit starts on Friday.

TRTWorld and agencies