Home » Education » CHINESE PRESIDENT RE-AFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR ZIMBABWE IN BIRTHDAY MESSAGE TO MUGABE

MATOBO, ZIMBABWE. Chinese President Xi Jinping says Beijing is committed to strengthening bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China for the benefit of both countries.

Beijing has stepped up its economic co-operation with Harare and recently agreed to fund 12 investment projects running into billions of us dollars covering different sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.

The deals include financing for the expansion of THE Hwange Power Station, construction of a new Parliament building and a pharmaceutical warehouse, expansion of a national fibre optic broadband project and provision of wildlife monitoring equipment.

Zimbabwean and China have also agreed to co-operate in the aviation sector and in promoting investment.

In a special birthday message to President Robert Mugabe, who turned 93 on Feb 21, President Xi said China attached great importance to relations with Zimbabwe. "I always attach great importance to the development of (the) China-Zimbabwe relationship," he said.

"I am ready to work continuously deepen our bilateral friendship and co-operation across the board and so as to bring greater benefits to our two countries and people."

The special message was read out by Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping at the 21st February Movement celebrations held in Matobo in southern Zimbabwe in honour of President Mugabe's birthday.

President Xi said there existed more avenues for deeper co-operation between the two countries.

Zimbabwe and China enjoy strong bilateral relations, with Beijing being one of Zimbabwe's largest trading partners. Zimbabwe has sought China's assistance to stabilize and grow its economy which has been battered by more than a decade of Western economic sanctions.

The sanctions, imposed to punish Zimbabwe over its land reform programme, are estimated to have cost the country more than 42 billion USD over the last decade. This has forced Zimbabwe to turn to Asia, particularly China, for both trade and investment to break the Western economic siege.

Trade between the two countries reached 1.24 billion USD in 2014.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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