The Chinese delegation led by special envoy Mr Chen Xiaodong, which has been in the country to deliver a special message to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, also paid a courtesy call on former President Mugabe.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Joey Bimha, who also attended the meeting, confirmed the meeting yesterday.
“Yes, he (Mr Chen) met Mugabe,” said Ambassador Bimha.
“He has come with a special message from President Xi Jinping to the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“They (Mr Chen and Mugabe) discussed a range of bilateral issues, including a review of projects submitted to China by Zimbabwe.”
Mr Chen on Wednesday addressed journalists soon after meeting President Mnangagwa.
In his address, Mr Chen said: “In our talk, President Mnangagwa and I agreed that, going forward, our two sides will continue to maintain high-level exchanges, deepen communication, enhance mutual political trust and carry our traditional friendship forward.
“The second point is: we are going to enhance the development strategy alignment between our two countries to ensure our practical cooperation will go deeper and broader, so as to inject more impetus to economic development and the people of Zimbabwe’s livelihood improvement. Thirdly, we will enhance solidarity and coordination in dealing with international affairs and jointly uphold the common interest of developing countries. We both have confidence in the future development of our bilateral relations.”
Mr Chen, who is also China’s Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister, said his visit was meant to show his country’s support for Zimbabwe’s new administration.
“My mission is to convey the message of Chinese President Xi Jinping to His Excellency President Mnangagwa to demonstrate China’s support for the people and the new administration of Zimbabwe; to exchange views on deepening our traditional friendship and enhancing our cooperation in various fields,” he said.
President Xi, Mr Chen said, emphasised that Zimbabwe and China enjoyed strong bilateral relations.
“President Xi Jinping congratulates President Mnangagwa on assumption of office in his message,” he said.
“The President emphasises that China and Zimbabwe are good friends, good partners and good brothers who have understood and supported each other over the years, and our relations have withstood the test of time, as well as changes in international situations.”
Mr Chen said China believed that Zimbabweans had the capacity to manage their own internal affairs.