China’s State Councillor and Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan arrived in Harare yesterday to operationalise the implementation of mega deals signed during President Mugabe’s 13th State visit to China last year.
Gen Chang was welcomed at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Government Ministers and service chiefs.
VP Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was indebted to the leadership of China and Harare valued Gen Chang’s visit.
He said Zimbabwe stood to benefit immensely from the implementation of the projects agreed by the two countries under Zim-Asset.
Gen Chang said he came to Zimbabwe to ensure that all the series of agreements on China-Zimbabwe co-operation signed between the two countries were formulated and implemented.
“China attaches importance to the relations with Zimbabwe and considers Zimbabwe a good friend, good partner, and good brother,” he said.
“My country is willing to strengthen mutual political trust, broaden mutually-beneficial co-operation and boost friendly co-operation.”
Gen Chang latter toured the National Defence College which was built with the assistance of China which advanced a $98 million concessionary loan.
He pledged Beijing’s continued support to Zimbabwe in various areas as part of efforts to enhance the good bilateral relations between the two countries.
“The establishment of the National Defence College is another milestone of Zimbabwe-China relationship,” said Gen Chang soon after signing the visitors’ book and exchange of gifts at the state-of-the-art institution. “Be assured that the Chinese people will do everything to assist Zimbabwe.”
Gen Chang commended the NDC for enhancing skills for military personnel not only for Zimbabwe, but for other African countries which were sending officials to study at the college.
Gen Chang arrived against the backdrop of growing economic ties between the two countries.
President Mugabe embarked on a State visit to China last year where mega deals were signed in almost all sectors, with the Chinese pledging their support.
Several senior Chinese officials have been to Zimbabwe since then to operationalise the deals.
The deals are expected to bring major changes to the country’s infrastructure, agricultural, power generation and other areas.
The signing of the deals was also part of the success of the country’s Look East Policy which took effect after Western countries connived to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe which crippled the country’s progressive policies.