China’s foreign minister has accused Western powers of waging a “Cold War” against Zimbabwe, as he condemned the sanctions imposed on the economically embattled southern African state.
Wang Yi held talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, as he rounded up a five-nation tour of Africa.
Zimbabwe has been under US and European Union (EU) sanctions for more than two decades because of alleged human rights abuses.
Mr Wang called for the sanctions to be lifted, and pledged to continue helping Zimbabwe to stabilise its economy.
Zimbabwe has said it will submit funding proposals for at least half a dozen projects, but did not elaborate.
In a tweet, the deputy information minister, Energy Mutodi, said Mr Wang’s visit was a “slap in the face” for the UK, EU and US.
Zimbabwe would give preference to “Chinese business interests ahead of any Western country”, he added.
China is building a new parliament for Zimbabwe at a cost of more than $150m (£135m) and has loaned Zimbabwe more than $1bn to rehabilitate its Hwange coal power plant.
Zimbabwe regards China and Russia as being among its “all weather” friends.
It adopted a “Look East” policy during the rule of then-President Robert Mugabe, who was ousted by the military in 2017. He died last year at the age of 95.