Zimbabwe-China relations firm

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Norman Muchemwa

Bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China are solid as highlighted by the will power to stand by each other on international platforms, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun has said.

Mr Shaochun said this on Thursday while addressing guests during the Chinese New Year Reception.

The Chinese embassy in Harare hosted the ceremony to commemorate their new year that is coming on the 25th of January according to the Lunar calender.

According to the Chinese Astrological calendar, they are bidding farewell to the year of the pig and ushering in the year of the mouse. In the Chinese culture, these two animals stand for sturdiness and intelligence.

“Firm was our determination to stand by each other in the international community on matters concerning each other’s core interests,” said Mr Shaochun.

“Sturdiness is also the word I would use to describe China-Zimbabwe relations in 2019. Strong was the bond between our leaders and senior officials who regularly interacted and visited with each other. Unflagging was China’s support for Zimbabwe as it battled against natural disasters and development challenges.

“When Zimbabwe was severely hit by Cyclone Idai early last year, China was quick to respond by providing emergency humanitarian assistance. We are now working with Zimbabwe side to advance post-disaster reconstruction,” he said.

Projects being financed under Chinese grants, he said, are well on course and will be handed over in time adding success was achieved on other projects already operational.

“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.

“Steady was the progress in our practical cooperation. The joint projects like the Hwange thermal power station project, the Robert Mugabe International Airport expansion project and the Netone phase three project are all progressing very well.”

He hailed cultural exchanges between the two friendly countries something that has contributed in strengthening relations.

“Robust was the popular support for China-Zimbabwe relations thanks to a number of cultural programs unfolding throughout the year.

“Just three days ago, the China Opera and Dance-Drama Theatre Art Troupe presented fabulous art performance for the Chinese and Zimbabwean audience at the 7 Arts Theatre, to make the 2020 happy spring festival event a full success,” said Mr Shaochun.

He said celebrating 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and Zimbabwe’s 40 years of independence is not just a historical coincidence.

“The year 2020 is also a milestone in the history of Zimbabwe and in our bilateral relations; as Zimbabwe celebrates its 40 years of independence, its diplomatic relationship with China will also mark its 40th anniversary.

“This is not a historical coincidence, but a testament to our special bond which was made official on the very same day of Zimbabwe’s independence.” he said.

Chief Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Mr Lovemore Mazemo  who was the guest of honor said the country values the close traditional relations and strategic partnership that exist between the two countries.

Cabinet Ministers, diplomats, business people and members of the media attended the reception ceremony.

SUNDAYMAIL

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