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China’s Xi tells Zimbabwe president they should write ‘new chapter’ in ties

in AFRICA/ASIA by

Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe that they should work towards a new chapter in ties, during the African leader’s first state visit to China since he seized power last year. Mnangagwa, who became president in November after a de facto military coup ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule, has promised to rebuild his country’s devastated economy and re-engage with the international community.

Xi said China has been happy to see the economic reform policies that Mnangagwa put in place after the “peaceful, smooth” transfer of power. “I’m willing to work with Mr President to jointly map out our future cooperation and write a new chapter in China-Zimbabwe relations for the benefit of our two peoples” Xi said, during the meeting in Beijing.

In December, Zimbabwe signed a $ 153 million loan agreement with China to expand and renew its international airport in Harare in the attempt to attract investors and tourists, the first such deal under the new government.

China has growing interest in investing in Africa’s natural resources and has poured more than $100 billion into roads, railways, mines, powerlines and factories on the continent over the last decade. At the same time with his visit, Zimbabwe would attempt to tap China’s huge financial resources, technical expertise and modern technology in order to help revive the economy, Mnangagwa told.

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