President Mnangagwa meets Chinese experts

President Mnangagwa speaks to the chief of the Chinese medical team and Deputy Director Hunan Provincial Health Commission Mr Zhu Yimin (right), while Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun and one of the doctors, Mr Tang Lingzhi(left), look on at State House in Harare yesterday

The team of 12 Chinese medical experts in Zimbabwe to share knowledge and experiences in the fight against Covid-19 yesterday met President Mnangagwa at State House, where Zimbabwe’s commitment to deepen bilateral cooperation with Beijing was restated.

The team arrived on Monday with a large consignment of test kits and protective equipment required in the fight against the pandemic.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun, the team is the first to be sent to a Southern African country by China, not because the situation in Harare is dire, but due to close bilateral relations between the two countries.

In his remarks, President Mnangagwa said the medical team was free to visit all parts of the country to see how best they could assist.

“I want to assure of the readiness of the Government and people of the Republic of Zimbabwe to work with you and make your stay a pleasant one in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe and China enjoy excellent relations dating back to the days of our liberation struggle for independence and this gesture by your working visit attests to the determination by both nations to deepen bilateral cooperation,” said President Mnangagwa.

“You are therefore at home away from home. Your visit comes at a time when my country is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic. You should be free to visit wherever you want to visit. Ask

questions you want to ask. We don’t have all the answers for all your questions but we will do our best to make you understand our situation so that you know how to assist us.”

President Mnangagwa said he was confident that Zimbabwe’s medical experts and frontline health personnel would learn from the Chinese team’s experience in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The experiences will also benefit the region, since member States are collaborating and coordinating their response.

“I would like to express my deep, profound gratitude to my dear brother His Excellency Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China for the support he has continuously rendered to the people of Zimbabwe in the fight against Covid-19. Zimbabwe is under sanctions for nearly two decades but during the entire period, the People’s Republic of China and now, in particular, His Excellency President Xi Jinping has stood by us and for that we feel grateful,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said the support that Zimbabwe continues to receive from China was testimony of the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the two countries.

Responding to President Mnangagwa’s remarks, Ambassador Guo said the coming of medical experts was an important action taken by the Chinese government to support Zimbabwe in the fight against Covid-19.

“In the face of difficulties, we always stand with the Zimbabwean Government and Zimbabwean people,” he said.

Zimbabwe and China enjoy a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation and in face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the two countries have been fighting side by side.

Ambassador Guo called on all countries to cooperate with the World Health Organisation in its efforts to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. Global scientists have not reached a conclusion regarding the origins of coronavirus, and Ambassador Guo discouraged people from relying on conspiracy theories.

Ambassador Guo said the Chinese government was taking good care for African nationals living China.

The Chinese team comes from Hunan province, and were among the Chinese medical staff involved in China’s successful battle against the pandemic almost from the start.