Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
China has pledged to broaden its cooperation with Zimbabwe’s new administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to quicken economic development in the country, which is expected to improve people’s livelihoods.
This was said by China’s Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Chen Xiaodong – who was acting as a special envoy of the Chinese government – when he paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa Offices yesterday.
Mr Chen also delivered a special invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping to President Mnangagwa to visit the Asian country at a convenient time in the future.
“In our talk, President Mnangagwa and I agreed that going forward our two sides will continue to maintain high-level exchanges, deepen communication, enhance mutual political trust and carry our traditional friendship forward,” he said.
“The second point is: we are going to enhance the development strategy alignment between our two countries to ensure our practical cooperation will go deeper and broader, so as to inject more impetus to economic development and the people of Zimbabwe’s livelihood improvement.
“Thirdly, we will enhance solidarity and coordination in dealing with international affairs and jointly uphold the common interest of developing countries. We both have confidence in the future development of our bilateral relations.”
Mr Chen said his visit was meant to show his country’s support for Zimbabwe’s new administration.
“My mission is to convey the message of Chinese President Xi Jinping to His Excellency President Mnangagwa to demonstrate China’s support for the people and the new administration of Zimbabwe; to exchange views on deepening our traditional friendship and enhancing our cooperation in various fields,” he said.
Mr Chen said President Xi emphasised that Zimbabwe and China enjoyed strong bilateral relations.
“President Xi Jinping congratulates President Mnangagwa on assumption of office in his message,” he said. “The President emphasises that China and Zimbabwe are good friends, good partners and good brothers who have understood and supported each other over the years, and our relations have withstood the test of time, as well as changes in international situations.”
Mr Chen said China believed that Zimbabweans had the capacity to manage their own internal affairs.
“China firmly supports Zimbabwe in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions and believes that the Government and people of Zimbabwe have the wisdom and capability to manage their internal affairs well,” he said.
Mr Chen said President Mnangagwa would visit China at a time suitable to both countries.
“President Xi Jinping also extends his invitation to President Mnangagwa to visit China at a time convenient to both sides,” Mr Chen said.
He noted that President Mnangagwa had thanked President Xi for his congratulatory message on behalf of the Government and people of Zimbabwe, adding that Mr Chen was the first foreign official envoy visiting him after he took office.
“President Mnangagwa said the Government and people of Zimbabwe will not forget China’s support of Zimbabwe over the years, and that the Government and people of Zimbabwe will not forget the precious support of China to Zimbabwe in critical moments in the development of the country, and fully appreciated the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides,” said Mr Chen.
“President Mnangagwa also emphasises that the Zimbabwe side attaches high importance to the development of our bilateral ties and that China will become his first stop outside of Africa.”