From Victoria Ruzvidzo in Beijing, China
President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrived in China this morning for a five-day State visit during which he will meet the Chinese President Xi Jinping, senior Communist Party of China officials and the Chinese Business community.
He was met at the Beijing International Airport by Chinese assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Chen Xiaodong, the special envoy who came to Zimbabwe a few weeks ago and invited the President to China.
Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping was also at the airport to receive the President.
Presideng Mnangagwa was accompanied by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Special advisor to the President Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, Finance Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa, Industry and Commerce Minister Cde Mike Bimha, Minister of Transport Cde Joram Gumbo and Tourism and Hospitality Minister Cde Prisca Mupfumira.
Information, Communication and Technology Minister Cde Supa Mandiwanzira, Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba and other senior Government officials also formed part of his delegation.
Foreign Affaira Minister Cde Sibusiso Moyo, Energy and Power Development Minister Simon Khaya Moyo, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Cde Oppah Muchinguri were part of the advance party that also received the President.
Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China Mr Paul Chikava was also in attendance.
Zimbabwe is expected to emerge from the visit with a “huge” package to help prop the economy.
This is the President’s first State visit to the Asian country since he assumed office last November. It comes after his visit to the Sadc region where he briefed his “brothers” on developments in Zimbabwe.
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He intimated that after Sadc he would then visit those countries that stood by Zimbabwe when it faced debilitating sanctions by the West.
China has been Zimbabwe’s ally throughout the liberation struggle and has remained by the country’s side to date.
The visit is expected to take the relationship to a new level, particularly on the economic front.
President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business is expected to gain currency during the visit.
Reports are that Chinese investors are keen to inject funds into the economy, particulary in agriculture, mining, transport and water harvesting sectors.
Zimbabwe exports tobacco, chrome and imports agricuture and mining equipment, clothing, motor vehicles and other machinery, among other things, from the Asian giant.
China is the second largest economy in the world after the United States of America.
More to follow…