Comment: Huanying, Cde President Xi! FLASHBACK . . . President Mugabe poses for a photograph with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during his visit to China last year
FLASHBACK . . . President Mugabe poses for a photograph with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during his visit to China last year

FLASHBACK . . . President Mugabe poses for a photograph with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during his visit to China last year

Today Zimbabwe marks a most historical moment in receiving President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China on a two-day State visit.

In the run-up to this historic visit, we may have almost exhausted superlatives to describe just how important this visit is in cementing relations between our two sister republics.

This is because Zimbabwe may not witness many events as welcome and as game-changing as this courtesy by one of the most influential people on the planet at the moment.

The Chinese leader is coming, not only as a show and affirmation of traditional friendship, but also to lay the groundwork for the future.

Zimbabwe is ready and has done everything in its power to prepare for the dance.

As we report elsewhere today, technocrats yesterday finalised the texts of the agreements to be signed and everything is ready for the signatures.

The agreements that were made last year during President Mugabe’s visit to China are set to be inked today.

An additional set of agreements will also be signed, meaning that the engagement between Zimbabwe and China is continuous and evolving.

We welcome the seriousness that China has attached to this visit as we learn that the Chinese leader is bringing a large delegation — numbering up to 200 — covering various actors.

Cabinet ministers, members of the Communist Party of China and private sector players from various sectors will grace our shores.

That means serious business and we are heartened to note that Zimbabwe is alive to the deliverables and prospects that come with our old friends from the East.

It must also please many Zimbabweans that China, in its vastness and position in the top tier of global power and economy, is humble enough to engage the country.

This is in line with the philosophy and approach of the Chinese people about seeking win-win situations and fostering mutual respect.

This philosophy has informed China’s diplomatic relations which have seen China pursuing a non-interventionist approach in dealings with other countries.

Africa, of which Zimbabwe is part, has been on the receiving end of interventionism by powerful countries in the West which, rather than respecting local processes and tastes, have sought to change everything to suit their change as a driver of its foreign policy in Africa.

Zimbabwe is no stranger to this and has but survived the regime change agenda for the last 15 years or so.

China would naturally frown upon such machinations and in fact, Zimbabwe has this friend, and few others of goodwill, to thank for staving off attempts by the West to use the United Nations platform to effect regime change in the country.

The West is now also prescribing new “rights” to the developing world conformity with which is taken as a basis for friendship.

We have all heard how Western leaders have advocated for the acceptance, and indeed practice of, such activities as homosexuality as the basis for providing aid.

While the West would have us believe that the only way to develop is via its brand of capitalism, China has grown in less than 40 years using a model that is completely shorn of western influence.

It is something that has confounded western scholars and economists, and most of all, politicians whose pontifications ring ever so hollow in light of the Chinese miracle.

And, critically too, we know that China does have its democracy – democracy with Chinese characteristics, as they call it and it works perfectly.

We reflect on all these things as we also keep in mind that this is Zimbabwe’s opportunity to learn from its mighty friend.

A lot has to be learnt by the ruling party in terms of governance, tackling corruption, party discipline and tenacity.

It will be such a pity if we learnt nothing from our great friends.

Many people await the awakening of the Zimbabwean giant and what a better way than to learn from the Dragon itself!

That is why we open our arms to the Chinese leader and his delegation.

Welcome! Mauya! Samukele!

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