Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation 2013/5/22
HARARE, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang arrived in Harare on Tuesday, starting an official visit to Zimbabwe, the first leg of his African trip from May 21 to 25 to boost China's relations with the continent.
In a written statement upon arrival, Wang said China-Zimbabwe relations have been tested and grown steadily through the changes of time and international relations.
China attaches importance to the relations with Zimbabwe and considers Zimbabwe a "good friend, good partner, and good brother, " Wang said. "China is willing to strengthen mutual political trust, broaden mutually-beneficiary cooperation, and boost friendly cooperation with Zimbabwe."
During his visit to Zimbabwe, Wang is expected to pay a courtesy call to President Robert Mugabe, hold talks with Vice President Joyce Mujuru and pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, while signing a series of agreements on China- Zimbabwe cooperation.
"I believe, with the efforts of both sides, my visit is able to yield positive results, and push China-Zimbabwe friendly cooperative relationship to a new level," Wang said.
Wang on Tuesday met Chinese entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe upon his arrival at the Chinese Embassy and was briefed on their business operations in the country, which range from mining, agriculture to infrastructure construction and telecommunications.
Wang said that economic cooperation is an important part, just like a ballast, to the two countries' friendly relations.
The Chinese vice premier arrived against the backdrop of growing economic ties between the two countries. In 2012, the bilateral trade exceeded 1 billion U.S. dollars while China has become Zimbabwe's top investor.
After visiting Zimbabwe, Wang will attend the African Union (AU) 's special summit for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (the AU's predecessor) as Chinese President Xi Jinping's special representative in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia and location of the AU headquarters.
Xi visited three African countries -- Tanzania, South Africa, and the Republic of the Congo in March in his first foreign trip after assuming the presidency.