22 June 2016

Zimbabwe: China Envoy Meets President On Deals

Photo: The Herald
President Xi Jinping and President Robert Mugabe.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has deployed a special envoy to Zimbabwe to update President Mugabe on progress made in the implementation of mega-deals that were signed when the two leaders paid each other reciprocal State visits in 2014 and last year.

Beijing pledged to bankroll a number of infrastructural projects that Harare intends to implement in line with the Zim-Asset economic blueprint.

Chinese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming met President Mugabe for over an hour at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare yesterday where he also announced his country's commitment to donate about 20 000 tonnes of rice to Zimbabwe as food relief following the drought-induced poor yields last year.

Deputy Minister Zhang arrived in Harare on Monday and is expected to leave today.

Speaking to the media after a closed-door meeting with President Mugabe, the Chinese envoy said his country was committed to the implementation of the deals.

"I reported to His Excellency the implementation of the important consensus reached between President Xi Jinping and President Mugabe during President Xi's visit to Zimbabwe in December last year and the consensus they reached to deepen and further develop the friendly and cooperation relationship between our two countries," said Deputy Minister Zhang.

"During President Xi's visit to Harare, the two countries reached a series of common understanding on our cooperation. China decided to provide assistance to Zimbabwe for the construction of the new Parliament building of Zimbabwe.

"I reported to President Mugabe that China has already completed the design of the Parliament building and submitted three design plans to the Zimbabwe side and we are waiting for the confirmation from the Zimbabwean side for the early launch of this project."

Deputy Minister Zhang said President Mugabe appraised him about the economic interventions that Government was implementing to stimulate economic growth.

He said for that reason, the Asian giant would continue to support Zimbabwe in its quest for economic revival.

"China is confident in the capabilities of the Government and the people of Zimbabwe in overcoming the current difficulties and restore health development of the economy in Zimbabwe.

"We will continue to work hand in glove with the brothers and sisters of Zimbabwe to ensure economic and social development of Zimbabwe.

"His Excellency, the President also shared with me information about the impact of the recent drought on agriculture and people's well-being in Zimbabwe as well as the vigorous and active measures taken by the Government of Zimbabwe to offset that impact.

"To help the people of Zimbabwe to overcome the difficulties created by the drought, the Chinese government has decided to provide a batch of assistance worth 160 million renminbi of rice to the Zimbabwean people with an amount of 20 000 tonnes of rice.

"Departments of both countries are now having close coordination with one another to send the batch of assistance to those in need as quickly as possible. Both countries are confident that with the solidarity and cooperation of our two countries, we have every capability to overcome all difficulties and sustain our economic and social development in the future," said Deputy Minister Zhang.

Zimbabwe and China signed several deals that run into billions of dollars when President Mugabe visited China in 2014 on a State visit before President Xi reciprocated in December last year.

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