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Chinese FM wraps up five-nation African tour

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is accompanied by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu during an official visit to Ethiopia on Thursday/AFP

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Jan 13 – Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi on Monday wrapped up a five-nation Africa tour after talks in Zimbabwe in which he pledged to strengthen cooperation despite a spat over aid figures.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday said, “he (Wang) goes back home satisfied that our relations are on a solid foundation.”

“We as Zimbabweans are happy with our relations with China,” Mnangagwa told reporters in the capital Harare.

Wang’s week-long swing also took him to Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea and Burundi, highlighting China’s growing political interest and economic clout in Africa.

China’s ties to Zimbabwe date back to the liberation struggle of the 1970s, when Beijing supported some of the top guerilla leaders.

After the end of white-minority rule in 1980, China was one of the first countries to establish a diplomatic mission in Harare.

But the two countries butted heads in November after Zimbabwe’s government said it had only received $3.6 million (3.24 million euros) in aid from Beijing in 2019 – 40 times lower than the figure claimed by China.

Wang met his Zimbabwean counterpart Sibusiso Moyo on Sunday and pledged to strengthen cooperation with the southern African country.

He then had dinner with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who spent months in China last year for medical treatment.

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