Roundup: 43 years on, China remains Zimbabwe's all-weather friend
After standing firmly with Zimbabwe in its struggle for national independence and liberation, China has been playing an important role in the country's economic transformation by investing in its key economic pillars such as mining, agriculture and infrastructure, said Christopher Mutsvangwa, secretary for information and publicity for Zimbabwe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union party.
He said Chinese modernization has created opportunities for African countries including Zimbabwe.
"This is probably the most exciting time just like in the 1960s and 1970s when China's arrival gave an option to the liberation movements to fight for their freedom," Mutsvangwa told Xinhua, adding that Zimbabwe's victory against colonial forces would have been unthinkable without Chinese support.
"Now this has moved into the economic era where the world markets have become flat so that if you are not happy with the price in New York you can always try Shanghai," he said.
Mutsvangwa further said through Chinese investment in infrastructure, Zimbabwe will be transformed into a regional trade hub.
For example, the Chinese-funded expansion of Zimbabwe's largest airport -- the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport -- is due for completion in 2023. The upgrade will allow the airport to grow its passenger handling capacity to about 6 million a year from the current 2.5 million.
Hopewell Mupanganyama, chairman for the youth desk in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, praised China for standing with African countries in their quest for national independence and liberation.
"Around the 1970s, though China was classified to be a poor country of Asia in terms of development," it "made sure" that it assisted "Africa to dismantle colonialism," Mupanganyama said, adding that China now once again stands at the forefront of transforming African economies through investment and trade.
Over the years, China and Zimbabwe have kept boosting economic and trade ties. Trade between the two countries surged nearly 30 percent year-on-year to a record high of 2.43 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe said.