Samantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent.
A visiting Chinese delegation led by Deputy Minister of Culture Mr Ding Wei has hailed Government for promoting peace and preserving the country’s cultural heritage.
Deputy Minister Ding made the remarks during a meeting with Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage Minister Cde Abednico Ncube in Harare yesterday.
The delegation is in the country to celebrate the Chinese New Year Day with Chinese nationals resident in Zimbabwe, as well as exploring wider opportunities for cultural interaction between the two countries.
Mr Ding said culture was important in strengthening relations between Zimbabwe and China.
“Not so long ago in December, our Chinese President made a very important visit to Zimbabwe and on the Chinese television we saw some very friendly and touching scenes from Zimbabweans, and like our ambassador told us, over 40 000 Zimbabweans citizens came out to welcome our President,” he said.
“I think in recent years, that is the best reception compared to any of his visits and also his picture holding hands with President Mugabe is really an outstanding image of the mutual relationship of our two countries seen by over 1,3 billion people in China.
“Your warm reception has a very deep impact in China and the world at large, but the most important thing, however, are the many agreements reached by the two Heads of State in different fields,” he said.
Deputy Minister Ding said the Zimbabwe-China cultural cooperation would go a long way in promoting economic development.
“We are encouraged that China and Zimbabwe have ventured into a new period of deeper cooperation and mutual benefit,” he said.
“The Chinese government is committed to promoting Zimbabwean cultural activities and we are going to make a concrete effort to find markets for unique cultural products like stone carvings, baskets and wood carvings on the Chinese market.
“The reason we also bring the Chinese New Year celebrations here is to show that we truly take Zimbabwe and its people as our dear friends because those celebrations are of strong family bonds which we have seen fit to share with you.”
Minister Ncube said culture related projects, if fully funded, would boost Zimbabwe’s economic endeavours.
“The People’s Republic of China and Zimbabwe’s cultural cooperation is resilient and continues to grow,” he said. “We are currently rallying with several engagements with the Chinese government that will include training and personnel development in cultural management.”