Zim wants 'hero's welcome' for Chinese president

2015-11-30 13:15
Chinese President Xi Jinping. (File: AP)

Chinese President Xi Jinping. (File: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Zimbabwean state media said Chinese President Xi Jinping deserved a "hero’s welcome" when he jetted into the country on a state visit on Tuesday, but the main opposition dismissed the visit as a mere public relations exercise.

Xi is stopping in Zimbabwe for 48 hours on his way to South Africa for the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in South Africa this week.

“President Xi deserves a hero’s welcome by all Zimbabweans of goodwill,” said an editorial in the main state-run Herald daily.

“[China] has made huge investment in infrastructure and energy development and agriculture against Western-inspired propaganda about Zimbabwe’s high risk factor,” the paper said.

Zimbabwean officials were viewing the visit as a vindication of President Robert Mugabe’s “Look East” policy undertaken after he alienated Western countries through rights abuses and alleged vote-rigging since 2000.

China was now Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner and investor and there were expectation’s Xi and his delegation might finalise “mega-deals” for which Mugabe reportedly signed memorandums of understanding (MOU) during a 2014 state visit to Beijing.

'This is public relations'

“Agreements will be signed, especially in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture and transport,” a top official in Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs ministry, Joey Bimha, told Monday’s Herald.

In an article written by Xi and published in the same paper, the Chinese leader said he was looking forward to "in-depth exchanges of views with Mugabe and friends from all sectors of Zimbabwe during my visit with the aim of enhancing friendship between our two countries, exploring new opportunities for cooperation in all areas and delivering more benefits to our two peoples."  

However, opposition officials dismissed Xi’s visit as a mere “public relations exercise” and said Zimbabwe was unlikely to get a cent out of it.

“This is a public relations exercise by Xi,” Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Obert Gutu told News24.

He said his party did not believe Zimbabwe – whose cash-strapped government was desperate for foreign investment - would receive any benefits. He said Chinese officials were concerned about high-level corruption in Harare, as well as the divisive succession issue within the ruling party as Mugabe reached the sunset of his political career.

“China has been watching Zimbabwe. They know the Mugabe-led regime does absolutely nothing about corruption,” Gutu said.

“They are also very troubled about the succession issue in Zanu-PF. Until the time the succession issue is conclusively resolved, China is not going to put a penny [into the economy]. They’re just going to be shaking hands, having dinner, having a few drinks... nothing beyond that,” he said.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  robert mugabe  |  xi jinping  |  china  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.