Ambassador Guo gives an exclusive interview to The Herald on China-Zimbabwe relations
On June 6th, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Mr Guo Shaochun gave an exclusive interview to The Herald's Reporter Kuda Bwititi on the issue of the bilateral relations and practical cooperation between China and Zimbabwe. The full content is as follows:
Question: Before you came to Zimbabwe, what had been your perception of the country before and what is your perception now?
Answer: Before I came, I was fully aware that Zimbabwe is an important partner of China and we enjoy a time-honored friendship.
Since my arrival, I have been deeply impressed by the beautiful scenery, pleasant climate of Zimbabwe and hospitality of the local people. I am especially moved by the friendly sentiments Zimbabwean people have for China.
What I admire most is Zimbabwe's spirit of pursuing national independence. As true friend, true brother and true partner of Zimbabwe, China is positive in supporting Zimbabwe to realize its economic prosperity and durable peace and stability. Zimbabwe must be treated fairly and respectfully by all the countries of the world. We will continue to speak up for Zimbabwe.
Question: There has been much talk on the so-called "mega deals" between Zimbabwe and China. Can you give us a breakdown of implementation of the deals?
Answer: Last year, His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa visited China twice and both our top leaders agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Zimbabwe. A series of agreements have been signed to advance our practical cooperation.
One of them is the Victoria Falls International Airport Expansion Project. This project was completed by November 2015 and has since increased the airport's passenger handling capacity to around 1.5 million a year. New air routes have been opened and connected to the Victoria Falls which has solidified its status as a regional aviation and tourism hub.
The Kariba South Hydro-power Station Extension Project was successfully commissioned in March 2018. It has added 300 MW to the national grid.
The Hwange Power Plant is another very important project in the power generation area. The construction was started last year and is now well underway. It will take 42 months to complete and will create 3000 jobs for the local people.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport Expansion Project and the New Parliament building project have also taken off. The Parliament building is a grant project by the Chinese government.