Qin Gang meets Zimbabwean FM, signaling solid China-Africa cooperation
Published: May 29, 2023 10:19 PM
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang delivers a speech marking the 60th Africa Day celebration in Beijing on May 25, 2023. Photo: Yin Yeping/GT

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang delivers a speech marking the 60th Africa Day celebration in Beijing on May 25, 2023. Photo: Yin Yeping/GT

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang held talks with visiting Zimbabwean Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Frederick Shava in Beijing on Monday. Observers said Shava's visit sends a signal that China-Africa cooperation and relations are as solid and bright as usual.

In the four decades since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Zimbabwe, no matter how the international situation has changed, the traditional friendship between the two countries has always been as firm as a rock and they have always been good brothers and partners who trust and support each other, Qin told Shava during their meeting in Beijing on Monday.

Qin pointed out that China will, as always, firmly support Zimbabwe in opposing external interference and sanctions and taking a development path suited to its national conditions. 

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the US has been piling sanctions on Zimbabwe since 2001, following a Zimbabwean government decision to repossess land from minority white farmers for redistribution to landless indigenous Zimbabweans.

The country's sanction-induced economic mire has inflicted a myriad of real challenges on Zimbabweans, especially amid an unprecedented global pandemic. The distressing effect of the sanctions on the viability of businesses in Zimbabwe has prompted an outcry against the economic punishment both in and outside the country, Xinhua reported. 

China is willing to deepen its sharing of governance experience with Zimbabwe, enhance synergy of development strategies, promote high-quality joint construction of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and implement various cooperation measures with Africa within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Qin noted. 

Together with Zimbabwe, China will tap the potential of cooperation in investment, trade, energy and mineral resources, clean energy and human resources development, and upgrade cooperation between the two countries, Qin said.

Qin also told his Zimbabwean guest that China will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Zimbabwe. China is ready to work closely with the country in international cooperation to promote the implementation of the initiatives on global development, global security and global civilization.

Shava's visit came amid intensive visits by African leaders to Beijing. 

Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen visited China from May 24 to 28. President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi also paid a state visit to China between May 24 and 29. Earlier this month, President Isaias Afwerki of the State of Eritrea wrapped up his four-day visit to China and in April, President of the Gabonese Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba also paid a visit to China.

"The visit by Zimbabwe's foreign minister strengthens the signal that African countries are optimistic about developing ties with China and that their willingness to cooperate with China is high, even though there are some forces sowing discord," He Wenping, a senior research fellow at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday. 

China stands in solidarity with Zimbabwe in its consistent call for the unconditional removal of Western sanctions. More efforts could be made to help Zimbabwe resume economic development, He noted. 

Zimbabwe's cooperation with China ranges from infrastructure construction and mineral cooperation to investment and trade, and more practical cooperation can be explored, He said.

During the meeting with Qin on Monday, Shava said Zimbabwe firmly upholds the one-China policy, supports the principle of One Country, Two Systems, and supports the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative proposed by China.

Shava also thanked China for its support in helping the country's poverty reduction efforts and the fight against COVID-19. Zimbabwe stands ready to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China in various fields, strengthen cooperation under the framework of the Africa-China Cooperation Forum and push bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new level, he said.