Economic ties in focus as Xi lands in Zimbabwe for state visit

World Today

Xi MugabeChinese President Xi Jinping is welcomed by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in Harare, Zimbabwe, Dec. 1, 2015. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping began a two-day state visit to Zimbabwe on Tuesday, the first such visit by a Chinese head of state in almost two decades.

CCTV Africa covered the arrival

In an article penned by Xi for The Herald, a leading Zimbabwean newspaper, on Tuesday, he said that consolidating ties with Zimbabwe and other African nations remains a cornerstone of China’s foreign policy.

“China will work with Zimbabwe and all other friendly African nations to pave a broader and more solid road of mutual benefit and common development for China and Africa,” Xi noted.

“Though I have not been to Zimbabwe, I am no stranger to this beautiful country and its people,” he added.

Dali Yang on President Xi’s visit to Africa

CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke Dali Yang. He is a professor in the department of political science at the University of Chicago.

Dali Yang on President Xi visit to Africa

CCTV America's Asieh Namdar spoke Dali Yang. He is a professor in the department of political science at the University of Chicago.

China and Zimbabwe established diplomatic relations on April 18, 1980, the day Zimbabwe became independent. Xi hailed the development of bilateral ties since that day, writing that the two nations have “stood with each other (come) rain or shine,” and enjoyed strong friendship and fruitful cooperation over the past 35 years.

President Robert Mugabe had visited Beijing in August 2014, with the two sides inking a series of deals covering infrastructure development, energy and power generation, water reticulation and agriculture. Xi praised Mugabe’s visit in his article, saying that it provided vital guidance for the growth of bilateral relations.

Calling China Zimbabwe’s “best friend” on the international stage and describing Xi’s visit as a significant event in the development of bilateral ties, Mugabe told Xinhua in a recent interview that he will confer with Xi on bilateral cooperation in multiple areas.

Harare, he said, hopes that China will help Zimbabwe carry out some key economic and public-welfare projects so as to speed up the country’s socio-economic development.

Xi flew to Harare from Paris, where he delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of a highly anticipated U.N. climate change conference. His ongoing three-nation trip will also take him to South Africa for a state visit and a summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Compiled from CCTV News and Xinhua reports