Xi wel­comes Zim­bab­wean leader

West urged to im­prove ties with the African na­tion fol­low­ing change of lead­er­ship

China Daily European Weekly - - China News - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China is hope­ful that Western coun­tries will im­prove re­la­tions with Zim­babwe and work to­ward the coun­try’s devel­op­ment, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on April 3.

Xi made the re­mark while meet­ing with Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing.

Wit­nessed by the two pres­i­dents, China and Zim­babwe signed co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments cov­er­ing ar­eas such as econ­omy, tech­nol­ogy, agri­cul­ture and hu­man re­sources.

The two lead­ers also agreed to up­grade bi­lat­eral re­la­tions to a com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion part­ner­ship.

Not­ing that China and Zim­babwe are all-weather friends, Xi said the two coun­tries have al­ways sup­ported each other in the past, no mat­ter how in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions changed.

The two coun­tries should con­tinue high-level ex­changes, draw up a blue­print for co­op­er­a­tion in all ar­eas and keep sup­port­ing each other on is­sues re­lated to core in­ter­ests and ma­jor con­cerns, Xi said.

The two sides should en­hance strate­gic in­ter­con­nec­tion, deepen co­op­er­a­tion un­der the frame­work of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and con­tinue to co­op­er­ate in such ar­eas as in­fra­struc­ture, agri­cul­ture and fi­nance, Xi said.

In Novem­ber, Zim­babwe’s tran­si­tion won wide recog­ni­tion from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, Xi said.

Since be­ing in­au­gu­rated as Zim­babwe’s pres­i­dent, Mnan­gagwa has been ded­i­cated to de­vel­op­ing the econ­omy and im­prov­ing peo­ple’s lives, Xi said, adding that new poli­cies had re­sulted in pos­i­tive out­comes for Zim­babwe.

As a friend, part­ner and brother of Zim­babwe, China was glad to see the Zim­bab­wean peo­ple ben­e­fit from the new poli­cies, he said.

Not­ing that there are new op­por­tu­ni­ties for the devel­op­ment of China-Zim­babwe re­la­tions, Xi said he would like to make joint ef­forts with Mnan­gagwa to draw up a new blue­print for bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and bring more ben­e­fits for the peo­ple of both sides.

Xi ex­pressed grat­i­tude for Mnan­gagwa’s con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sage on his re-elec­tion as pres­i­dent of China at the ses­sion of the coun­try’s top leg­is­la­ture last month.

Xi said he ap­pre­ci­ated his Zim­bab­wean coun­ter­part’s ef­forts in push­ing bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in all ar­eas in pre­vi­ous years.

Mnan­gagwa, speak­ing highly of Xi Jin­ping Thought on So­cial­ism with Chi­nese Char­ac­ter­is­tics for a New Era, said he hoped to de­velop so­cial­ism with Zim­bab­wean char­ac­ter­is­tics in his coun­try.

Chen Xiaodong, as­sis­tant min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs, said that Zim­babwe agreed dur­ing the talks be­tween the two lead­ers to is­sue visas upon ar­rival for Chi­nese vis­i­tors.

Premier Li Ke­qiang and Li Zhan­shu, chair­man of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, also met with Mnan­gagwa on April 4.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping es­corts Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Emmerson Mnangagwa on April 3 at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing. The two lead­ers wit­nessed the sign­ing of sev­eral co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments dur­ing Mnangagwa’s visit.

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