Visiting Vice-Premier Wang Qishan (left) chats with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe after the two held talks in Harare on Monday. [Photo/Agencies]
HARARE, Zimbabwe - China has extended loans of up to $700 million to Zimbabwe to revive the southern African country's health, mining and agriculture sectors.
Visiting Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and Zimbabwean Vice-President Joice Mujuru witnessed the signing of the agreements on Monday, which included $342 million for an agricultural machinery scheme, $99.5 million for medicine and $144 million for the renovation of sewers in the capital.
The two countries were also discussing a $102-million loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.
Wang pledged support for Zimbabwe's economic recovery and promised to lobby for the lifting of Western sanctions.
"China will continue to support and grow your economy. China will continue to impress on countries that have imposed sanctions to lift them at early date," he said.
"We acknowledge the efforts by the China Development Bank to engage government in supporting Zimbabwe's most critical areas of energy, mining, transport, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism," said Mujuru.
"These areas would assist in the growth of our economy," she added.
Wang also called on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe later on the same day.
Wang told his host that as a genuine friend of Zimbabwe, China is pleased to see the nation make significant headway in its economic recovery and development and was ready to cooperate to bring more benefits to the Zimbabwean people.
Recalling that China helped Zimbabwe gain independence and has been assisting the country in economic development and international affairs, Mugabe said its valuable support fully testifies to China's sincere friendship.
Zimbabwe and China have political ties dating back to before Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.
Zimbabwe is the second leg of Wang's ongoing three-nation Africa tour, which has taken him to Kenya and will end in Angola later this week.