Wallace Ruzvidzo Herald Reporter
China is keen to strengthen diplomatic ties with Zimbabwe to ensure comprehensive strategic partnerships, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun has said.

Speaking at celebrations to mark the Chinese New Year on Monday, which were attended by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, Ambassador Guo said it was important to note that the celebrations coincide with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and China.

He said a series of activities have been lined up to mark the anniversary.

The Chinese New Year celebrations were held under the theme; “Celebrating 40 Years of China-Zimbabwe Diplomatic Relations”.

“We will hold a series of activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Zimbabwe,” said Ambassador Guo.

“We look forward to comprehensive, strategic partnerships of cooperation and to make real contributions.”

He paid tribute to Chinese nationals living in Zimbabwe for their support in the development of relations.

“I would like to thank Chinese people and enterprises in Zimbabwe for assisting in the development of China-Zimbabwe relations because it would not have been possible without your support,” said Ambassador Guo.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Nicholas Moyo, who was the guest of honour said NACZ will host the third Afro-Sino Arts Exchange in April to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence and diplomatic relations between the two  countries.

He said good diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and China had boosted the creative industry.

“The cordial ties that Zimbabwe and China have, have also benefited the creative industry.”

China has long-standing historical affinities with Africa through its support for liberation movements in Southern Africa.

Beijing has been supporting Zimbabwe through a number of projects such as the Victoria Falls Airport and Kariba South expansion. China also offered assistance to the country during the aftermath of Cyclone Idai last year.