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A deepening friendship

By LI LIANXING and ZHAO HUANXIN in Harare, Zimbabwe (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-02 06:11

A deepening friendship

President Xi Jinping walks with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe upon arriving for his state visit in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Tuesday. Lan Hongguang / Xinhua

President Xi Jinping said China and Zimbabwe will translate their friendship into an incentive for future practical collaboration, to realize common development and prosperity.

"My visit to Zimbabwe is to consolidate our traditional friendship, while deepening practical cooperation to enhance this bilateral relationship to a new high, to better benefit two peoples," he said in a meeting with his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Robert Mugabe, on Tuesday afternoon during his two-day visit in Harare.

Xi said China and Zimbabwe are genuine all-weather friends with a long history of friendship, who have supported and collaborated with each other in past developments, and the two countries are not only good friends in the political sphere, they are also good partners for common development.

President Mugabe warmly welcomed Xi and said "China is Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend".

The two leaders witnessed the signing of economic and technology cooperation agreements between the two governments and a number of agreements on infrastructure, production capacity, finance, and wildlife protection.

Xi also laid a wreath at the National Heroes’ Arce of Zimbabwe.

Xi said the two sides should make joint efforts to make their relationship one of good partners, good friends and good brothers who treat each other as equals and support each other for win-win cooperation and common development, based on principals of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith to African countries.

He said China will enhance the economic and trade relationship between the two sides in production, processing and investment, while encouraging more Chinese companies to invest in Zimbabwe with a priority in modernizing agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

Chinese companies also will be encouraged to invest and operate businesses in the power sector, telecommunications, transportation and other basic infrastructure sectors, as well as innovate funding means, according to Xi.

China also will support Zimbabwe to safeguard its sovereignty and security, as well as its right for development, while playing a bigger role in international and regional affairs, Xi said.

He said mutual exchanges should take place at all levels and in all areas, including people-to-people, and the two countries should strengthen collaboration in education, culture, health, tourism, youth and media.

China will work more closely with Zimbabwe on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other major issues in international organizations, to safeguard developing countries’ legitimate interests and enhance international relations democratization, Xi said.

He also said China is willing to help other African countries in development. "I am looking forward to discussing the development of China-African relations with African friends during the forthcoming China-Africa Summit in Johannesburg, to build a better future and set a milestone of China African friendship and cooperation," Xi said.

Munetsi Madakufamba, an authority on China-African relations and executive director of the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre, said Xi’s visit to Zimbabwe in particular and to the upcoming FOCAC summit represent a major diplomatic victory for Zimbabwe, which he said has been unjustly maligned and isolated by some of the major geo-political powers during the past decade.

"For China, the visit by President Xi will not only be a fulfillment of the cordial relations that have long existed between the two countries and with the African continent, but yet another opportunity for him to lay the mark on what he has recently described as ‘the new normal’, which is the maturation of the Chinese economy," he said.

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