China cancels Zim debts

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CHINA has cancelled a number of Zimbabwe’s debts, with Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and China’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming signing a protocol to seal the cancellation.

The debt cancellation was first announced in 2015 when China’s President Xi Jinping visited Zimbabwe and met President Mugabe.

The deal was formalised last week when Vice-Minister Ming visited Zimbabwe and met President Mugabe before signing the protocol for debt cancellation with Minister Mumbengegwi.

“It was recalled that during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Zimbabwe in 2015, he announced the cancellation of a number of debts owed by Zimbabwe to China. His Excellency President Mugabe expressed Zimbabwe’s profound gratitude for this fraternal gesture, which reflected the strong bonds of amity and solidarity between the two countries and peoples,” said the Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday.

“In that context, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cde Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, and the Chinese Vice-Minister signed the protocol formalising the cancellation of those debts.”

Vice-Minister Ming, who arrived on Thursday and leaves today, met President Mugabe and apprised the Head of State and Government on implementation of deals in the energy, infrastructure and aviation sectors.

He also delivered a special message to President Mugabe from President Xi.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “His Excellency President Mugabe received a comprehensive briefing on the status of various projects on which Zimbabwe and China are co-operating, in such areas as energy, infrastructure and aviation, and on China’s determination to increase investment and cooperation in various sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy, as well as to increase access to the Chinese market for Zimbabwe’s agricultural products.

“Vice-Minister Zhang further informed His Excellency the President that steps and measures were being taken to accelerate the implementation of the various mega deals that were agreed during President Mugabe’s visit to China in 2014 and during President Xi’s visit to Zimbabwe in 2015.”

Zimbabwe and China sealed landmark deals worth more than US$4 billion during President Mugabe’s State visit to the Asian country in 2014.

President Xi paid a reciprocal State visit to Zimbabwe in 2015 where he, together with President Mugabe, oversaw the signing of more agreements covering power generation, roads, rail, ICT and wildlife protection.

“The role played by the close personal relationship between His Excellency President Mugabe and President Xi Jinping, which has provided the impetus for ongoing collaboration on several projects, was emphasised.

“The reform of the United Nations Security Council, on which the two countries are in full agreement, was discussed. The correctness of the African Common Position as enunciated in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration was reaffirmed during the discussion,” said the Foreign Affairs Ministry.-Sundamail