BEIJING – China congratulated on Saturday the new president of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, and hoped that the two countries will continue to work together, official news agency Xinhua reported.
Mnangagwa took office on Friday after long-term president Robert Mugabe was forced to step down following an alleged military takeover.
“China and Zimbabwe are good friends, partners and brothers. Bilateral ties have withstood the test of time and changing international situations,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a message.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said China values its traditional friendship with Zimbabwe and is ready to work with the new administration.
Until now, China had reacted cautiously to the resignation of Mugabe, whom an earlier foreign ministry briefing had described as an “old friend.”
China is the biggest investor in Zimbabwe and its fourth biggest trade partner.
However, Mugabe’s recent monetary and economic policies had adversely affected the interests of Chinese companies in sectors such as energy, agriculture and construction.