By Innocent Ruwende and Virginia Kashiri
Chinese President Xi Jinping has invited President Emmerson Mnangagwa to visit China to discuss future developmental projects of the two countries, and there are indications that he will oblige to make it his first visit outside Africa.
This was revealed by Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping after paying a courtesy call on Energy and Power Development Minister Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo at his offices in Harare yesterday.
“We want to further strengthen the good relationship and expand our cooperation in the future,” he said. “President Xi also invited President Mnangagwa to visit China at a time of his convenience and President Mnangagwa responded that he will go to China as his first out-bound visit, out of Africa.
China will be his first destination out of Africa. We are expecting this to be happening, to see our two leaders meet to map up the blueprints for the future development of our two countries.
“I can only agree more with you on the good relationship between China and Zimbabwe, and so, now since the peaceful transfer of power, China was the first country to send a special envoy representing Chinese government to congratulate His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, to be the leader, and the special envoy carried a letter from President Xi Jinping demonstrating that whatever happens, China takes great importance to the friendship between China and Zimbabwe.”
Ambassador Huang said right after sending the special envoy, China dispatched a delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to attend Zanu-PF’s Extraordinary Congress last month, which he said went very well. This, he said, demonstrated China’s willingness to further develop its relationship with Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Huang, who said he had visited Cde Khaya Moyo to congratulate him on his new role in the new dispensation, chronicled several projects which the two countries were undertaking. He said he expected the $1,4 billion Hwange Power Project signed between the Government and China Export-Import Bank to take off any time soon.
Ambassador Khaya Moyo said although the country was entering a new political dispensation, this did not change Sino-Zim relations.
“If anything, it has solidified the relationship for the simple reason that the transition was so smooth, peaceful and admired by the entire world and we say to the new leadership, well done,” he said.
“We are also saying that our relationship between China and Zimbabwe are all-weather relations. We enjoy that relationship, which dates back to the days of our liberation struggle and we have of course continued since the years following our attainment of independence to see these relations grow from strength to strength.”
Cde Khaya Moyo said there had been reciprocal visits by the leaders of the two countries over the years. Ambassador Khaya Moyo said: “You will also be pleased to know that China is the biggest investor in the country.
There are a number of projects across the country, which are of great benefit to the entire land of our people. I want to assure you that we shall continue with these excellent relations, solidifying them and making sure that whatever we engage in is for the benefit of our two peoples.” The Herald