HARARE, Nov 30 (NNN-NEW ZIANA) — Chinese President Xi Jinping says his State visit to Zimbabwe beginning this Tuesday will allow the two countries to deepen their 35-year-long ties.

Zimbabwe and China established political relations in 1980 at the attainment of the independence by the southern African country, with the bond having solidified over time.

“Over the past 35 years, our two peoples have stood with each other in rain or sunshine, and enjoyed strong friendship and fruitful co0operation,” Xi said in a statement issued here Sunday ahead of his arrival.

“We need to continue to understand and support each other on issues involving our core interests and major concerns. China firmly supports Zimbabwe’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests and its choice of development path that suits its nation’s conditions,” he added.

President Robert Mugabe has reportedly said he was looking forward to the two-day visit with “great interest”.

President Xi becomes the second Chinese leader to visit Zimbabwe in the three and half decade long ties between China and Zimbabwe, which refer to each other as “all weather friends”.

China has also proven to be a key political and economic ally in the nearly two decades in which Zimbabwe has struggled economically under the yoke of western sanctions.

The Chinese president’s visit to Zimbabwe follows a State visit by President Mugabe to the Asian country in August last year when the two countries among other signed multi-million infrastructure deals.

On Friday, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping told local media more deals would be signed during the visit while follow-ups would be made on implementation of the ones agreed to last year.

President Xi, who described the two countries as “good brothers who treat each other as equals”, said it was imperative China and Zimbabwe synergized their development strategies and take their cooperation to higher levels.

“I look forward to having in-depth exchange of views with President Mugabe, and friends from all sectors of Zimbabwe during my visit, with the aim of enhancing friendship between the two countries exploring new opportunities for cooperation in all areas and delivering more benefits
to our two peoples,” the Chinese leader said.

“I am convinced that with the dedicated cultivation of the Chinese and Zimbabwean peoples, the flower of China-Zimbabwe friendship will bloom with even brighter splendor.”

After his visit to Harare, President Xi will leave for Johannesburg, South Africa, where he will join President Mugabe and leaders from the rest of the continent for the Forum on China-Africa
Co-operation Summit. — NNN-NEW ZIANA

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