Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcome ceremony for his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 3, 2018. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between their countries.
The two heads of state reached the agreement during their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi said the Zimbabwean people have started a new journey in building their country since Mnangagwa took office last November.
"As a good friend, partner and brother of Zimbabwe, we are glad to see that," Xi told Mnangagwa.
Hailing the long-term close relationship between the two countries, Xi said the development of China-Zimbabwe ties is facing new opportunities.
China stands ready to work with Zimbabwe to jointly lay out the new blueprint of bilateral cooperation to continue the relationship and better benefit the two peoples, Xi said.
Calling Mnangagwa "an old friend of the Chinese people who has been long committed to the cause of China-Zimbabwe friendship," Xi said that the visit by Mnangagwa, who chose China as the first non-African country to visit, demonstrates the high importance he attaches to bilateral ties.
China and Zimbabwe are "all-weather friends," said Xi, stressing that the two countries have always weathered hard times together, no matter how the international landscape changes. He added that the bilateral friendship will emerge even fresher and stronger.
He called on both sides to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and exchanges at all levels, carry out top-level planning in various areas of cooperation and continue to understand and support each other on issues regarding core interests and major concerns.
Xi also encouraged both sides to dovetail development strategies, enhance cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and continue to promote cooperation in infrastructure construction, agriculture, investment and financing.
China supports Zimbabwe in exploring a development path in line with its own national conditions, he said.
The two countries should also enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges so as to consolidate the public opinion foundation of both sides, Xi said.
China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation in regional and international affairs, said Xi, calling on Western countries and organizations to improve relations with Zimbabwe at an early date.
Mnangagwa, who is on a state visit to China from April 2 to 6 at the invitation of Xi, congratulated Xi once again on his election as Chinese president.
Speaking highly of Xi's vision and foresight on state governance, Mnangagwa said Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era greatly inspired Zimbabwe to take a development path with its own characteristics.
He said he remembered clearly his study in China in the 1960s, expressing admiration for the achievements the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the country have scored in past decades.
Noting that Zimbabwe-China friendship has endured the tests of time and change, Mnangagwa said his country and people will never forget China's long-term assistance and support for improving people's livelihood.
Zimbabwe will adhere to the one-China policy and promote the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation with China, enhance exchanges of views on state governance and expand cooperation in areas including trade, investment, technology, telecommunication, infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges, said Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe stands committed to deepening Africa-China friendship, supports China's Belt and Road Initiative and cooperation under the FOCAC framework and encourages Africa to take an active part in Belt and Road construction, he said.
Calling China-Africa friendship the "precious wealth of both sides," Xi said that as stated at the 19th CPC National Congress, China will work with all countries to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for humanity, and it will enhance unity and cooperation with developing countries, including African countries.
"No matter how the international situation changes and to what stage China develops, China will, as always, stand with all developing countries, including African countries, and be a sincere friend and a reliable partner of Africa," Xi said.
After the talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of bilateral documents on economic and technology cooperation, agriculture, science and technology and human resources.