Talent Chimutambgi Herald Reporter
China has pledged to support Zimbabwe in the quest to improve lives of its people.
Speaking during celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year in Harare yesterday, Chinese Ambassador Mr Guo Shaochun said the fight against poverty, environmental degradation, as well as financial risks affecting the continent would be major targets.
“The year 2020 will be a milestone in China’s history,” he said.
“We will put the people’s well-being first and improve the quality of growth to meet the aspiration of our people to live better lives.
“For 30 years in a row, Africa has remained the first destination of Chinese Foreign Minister’s overseas visit marking the beginning of a New Year. It speaks volumes about China’s abiding commitment to this great continent.
“We are pleased and proud that Zimbabwe is an important stop and indeed the last stop of State Counsellor Wang Yi’s trip to Africa, which shows our special trust in Zimbabwe.
“State Counsellor Wang Yi’s engagement with the top leaders of Zimbabwe produced a strong political push for the bilateral relations and a number of tangible outcomes, getting this important relationship to a powerful start in the New Year.”
Mr Guo described China-Zimbabwe cooperation as formidable.
“Sturdiness is also the word I would use to describe China-Zimbabwe relations in 2019,” he said.
“Strong was the bond between our leaders and senior officials who regularly interacted and visited with each other.”
Mr Guo chronicled how China stood with Zimbabwe during natural disasters, especially during Cyclone Idai and other projects that were aimed at bringing economic renaissance in the country.
“Unflagging was China’s support for Zimbabwe as it battled against natural disasters and development challenges,” he said.
“When Zimbabwe was severely hit by Cyclone Idai early last year, China was quick to respond by providing emergency humanitarian assistance.”
Mr Guo spoke of the projects supported by his country that are underway in Zimbabwe.
“We are now working with Zimbabwe to advance post-disaster reconstruction,” he said.
“The New Parliament Building, the pharmaceutical warehouse, the borehole drilling and other projects financed by Chinese grants are advancing on schedule and will be handed over to the Government and people of Zimbabwe on time,” said Mr Guo.
“Steady was the progress in our practical cooperation. The joint projects like the Hwange Thermal Power Station project, the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion project and the NetOne Phase Three project are all progressing very well.”
Mr Guo paid tribute to the forefathers who were the architects of China-Zimbabwe relations which have reached a four-decade milestone.
“40 years of history of China-Zimbabwe diplomatic relations offer us valuable experience, independence, sovereignty, equality, self-determination and justice,” he said.
“These are the values that brought our forefathers together and gave our relations an ever-beating heart. These are resounding calls across the developing world to which we both belong, though unfortunately they remain challenged today.
“China and Zimbabwe should be a source of strength for these norms to be established in a new type of international relations.”
Chief director of political affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Lovemore Mazemo, who was the guest of honour, expressed optimism on the continued rejuvenation of Zimbabwe-China ties.
The ceremony was also attended by Energy and Power Development Minister Advocate Fortune Chasi and Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza.