14:02, April 07, 2012
HARARE, April 6 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Thursday signed with the Zimbabwean government several economic and technological cooperation agreements worth 1.141 billion RMB yuan (180 million U.S. dollars).
The agreements were signed during a visit by Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu.
The agreements signed are an 80 million RMB yuan (12.7 million U.S. dollars) grant on economic and technical cooperation, a 31.5 million RMB yuan (5 million U.S. dollars) agreement for provision of an outside broadcasting van for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, 4.5 million RMB yuan (about 715,000 U.S. dollars) for neonatal equipment and a loan agreement for upgrading of Victoria Falls Airport worth 1.025 billion RMB yuan (164 million U.S. dollars).
Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Chong Quan signed the agreements on behalf of his country while respective ministers signed on behalf of Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Zimbabwean Vice President Joice Mujuru said Harare valued the support it received from China. China had defended Zimbabwe on the international fora when other world powers wanted the country slapped with United Nations sanctions, she said.
"Zimbabwe-China friendship has been growing from the days of the liberation struggle to the present. Your support on the international front has been highly appreciated by the people of Zimbabwe especially when you vetoed a decision to put Zimbabwe under United Nations sanctions," she said.
"The cooperation between Zimbabwe and China has been seen in the construction of the Victoria Falls Airport and runway that we are going to use next year when we host the United Nations World Tourism Organization General Assembly and the Agricultural Demonstration Center launched today," she added.
Mujuru said trade between the two countries had been growing over the past years with figures growing every year.
She said Zimbabwe adheres to the one-China policy and expected the people of China to work together for economic prosperity, hailing China's stance on conflict resolution in Africa.
She said China had maintained a strong policy that conflict in any African country should be solved without external interference.
Chinese Vice Premier Hui said Zimbabwe-China friendship enjoyed a solid foundation laid during Zimbabwe's struggle for political independence.
"Our friendship has a long history and our two countries enjoy great potential and bright prospects for further cooperation in many spheres of the economy," he said.
Hui commended the social stability and economic growth in Zimbabwe over the last three years following the formation of an inclusive government by President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and the two MDC factions led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube.
He also chronicled the history of China's rapid economic development since opening up in 1978.
The Chinese vice premier has also met with Zimbabwe's Acting President John Nkomo and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.