The impending visit by Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister and State Counsellor Mr Wang Yi over the weekend as part of a five country African tour, will see the two countries discussing several agreements.
China is now Africa’s largest trading partner and a major investor in the continent.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo said Mr Wang’s visit was testimony of the strong friendship between the two countries.
“This is an important visit from an important guest from the People’s Republic of China,” he said.
“This is a great friend who is coming and is in to pursue the issues which were agreed upon between President Mnangagwa and President Xi Jinping (during President Mnangagwa’s State Visit and on the sidelines of the Forum for China Africa Cooperation).”
Some of the issues the two leaders agreed on were in the fields of trade and investment, education and skills development and China’s desire to import more citrus fruit from Zimbabwe.
Projects that are already being implemented include the expansion of Hwange 7 and 8 Thermal Power Station, expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, NetOne expansion programme and the construction of the new Parliament Building, which is being done through a grant.
Minister Moyo said the visit by Mr Wang symbolised the political relationship which exists between the two countries.
“It also significantly depicts the strategic comprehensive partnership which has been established between the two countries and it further resonates with the kind of economic investments the People’s Republic of China has been doing in this country,” he said.
Later in the day, Minister Moyo met with the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun at his Munhumutapa Offices.
Ambassador Guo said Chinese State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will soon pay a visit to Zimbabwe as Beijing prepares to mark the 28th Anniversary of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
“The State Counsellor Wang Yi will pay a visit to Zimbabwe very, very soon and this is China’s tradition that the Foreign Minister, this is his first overseas first destination every year.
“We are very happy that he is paying Zimbabwe a visit and this is an important visit just because this year is the 28th Anniversary of FOCAC and also the anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationships between China and Zimbabwe,” he said.
Mr Wang’s visit is a continuation of a tradition that began in 1991 where the Asian country’s Foreign Affairs Minister visits African nations on the first overseas trip of the year.
His visit to Zimbabwe is part of a five-country tour to the continent that also includes Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea and Burundi.
Over the past two decades, China’s trade with Africa has grown 20-fold — surpassing the United States in 2009 — to US$204 billion in 2018, according to figures from China’s commerce ministry.
Beijing is also the largest bilateral lender to most African countries.
Over the past decade, it has financed about US$143 billion worth of infrastructure projects, including ports, railways, airports, motorways, roads and dams, according to data compiled by the China-Africa Research Initiative at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.