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President of Zimbabwe Mnangagwa visited the Construction Site of the New Parliament Building Aided
by the People’s Republic of China

On June 13, 2019, the President of Zimbabwe Mnangagwa visited the Construction Site of the New Parliament Building Aided by the People’s Republic of China. The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Mr. July Moyo, the Ambassador of P.R.China Mr. GUO Shaochun, and the Economic and Commercial Counselor Mr. CHEN Ning accompanied the President for the whole tour. President Mnangagwa listened to the brief report by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, and the report of the Chinese contractor on the progress of the parliament building project and the difficulties encountered, and then inspected the site and delivered a speech.

“This edifice will be one of the most unique parliaments in our region,” President Mnangagwa said it is the present from President Xi Jinping to the people of Zimbabwe. “Besides being unique, it’s demonstrative of our comprehensive, strategic relationship with the People’s Republic of China. There are many friends we have, but this is one symbolic stature which generations to come will know it is a demonstration of the cooperation between the people of Zimbabwe and the people of China.”

President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe and China shared a historic relationship and thanked China for vetoing attempts by Western nations in 2008 to invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. “The relationship between China and Zimbabwe is special,” he said. “We have a very strong history of trade between us. We also have a recent history of liberation where China stood by the oppressed people of this country and supported us through our armed struggle to liberate ourselves. President Mnangagwa said he was satisfied with the improving trade between Zimbabwe and China.“I am happy because then it speaks of the diversification of our economy unlike in the past our economy was substantively based on the Western structure where whatever we needed we had to go to the West,” he said.“But now it is necessary that we do not put our eggs in one basket, we should spread them.

President Mnangagwa said that he was very happy to know that there hasn’t been any accident since the construction last October. He hoped this record will be maintained till the project is completed. President Mnangagwa said he heard that there are some problems on the visa issue for the engineers and technical workers of this project, the Zimbabwe government is obliged to solve these problems. Finally, he said that he would visit the site again before the project is completed.

Ambassador GUO Shaochun said, “The new parliament building represents the deep traditional friendships between the two countries which can be traced back to the days of the liberation struggle and has been lifted to a new high. it is also the latest remarkable outcome of our cooperation which is the best evidence to refute those groundless accusations from some quarters stating that Zimbabwe didn't benefit from the ties with China. and it upon completion will surely become a new landmark for China-Zimbabwe friendship which stands to go from strength to strength under the strong leadership of President XI Jinping and President Mnangagwa.

The China aided Parliament Building is a powerful measure for implementing the “One Belt and One Road” initiative, the “Ten Cooperation Plans” and the “Eight Major Initiatives” on China-Africa Cooperation, and is a landmark project to enhance the existing friendly relations between China and Zimbabwe. The project is granted by the government of China with a total construction area of 33,000 square meters. It is built by Shanghai Construction Engineering Group Co., Ltd., with a contract period of 32 months. Upon completion, it will become a local landmark building and will be China's largest aid project in southern Africa.

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