On Tuesday, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Chinese counterpart agreed to work towards a new chapter in ties between the two nations.
Mnangagwa, who took over as leader after ex-President Robert Mugabe was ousted, paid his first official visit to the Asian country to begin repairing relations with the international community, Reuters has reported.
“I’m willing to work with Mr. President to jointly map out our future cooperation and write a new chapter in China-Zimbabwe relations for the benefit of our two peoples,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said. The Chinese president added that Beijing has pleased with the economic reform policies that African leader has implemented.
Mnangagwa's state visit to China runs from April 2 to 6.
Mnangagwa, who was sworn in as president in November, has pledged to rebuild Zimbabwe. He also shared that it “was a great honor” that the government of China was represented at his recent inauguration.
China has invested more than US$100 billion into roads, railways, mines, powerlines and factories on the African continent over the past decade. China continues infrastructural projects in Zimbabwe, ignoring Western-levied sanctions.
"No matter how the international situation changes and to what stage China develops, China will, as always, stand with all developing countries, including African countries, and be a sincere friend and a reliable partner of Africa," Xi said.
Xinhua reported that Zimbabwe's head of state said the country aims to forge a more solid relationship with China over financial resources, technical expertise and modern technology to help revive the economy. Xi said China and Zimbabwe are “all-weather friends,” explaining that the two countries have maintained their relationship throughout the years.
Trade between China and African countries has topped US$85.3 billion in the first half of 2017, according to Chinese state media.
Notably, Zimbabwe signed a US$153 million loan agreement with China, in December. The grant will be used to expand and refurbish its international airport in Harare.
Xi also encouraged continued cooperation in infrastructure construction as well as cultural exchange, agriculture, investment and financing. Both presidents witnessed the signing of bilateral documents to strengthen ties in the areas.
“You are an old friend of China and I appreciate your efforts to develop relations in all areas,” Xi said in the address, before lauding Mnangagwa's development efforts.
“As Zimbabwe’s good friend and partner, we are very happy about this.”
Mnangagwa congratulated Xi on his re-election as president.