Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun on Tuesday encouraged Zimbabwe and China to increase tourism cooperation to cement and solidify the existing excellent relations in culture and tourism, The Herald reported.
He was addressing delegates during the Sichuan Food Festival in Harare where he underlined that Zimbabwe shares a lot of geographical features with the Sichuan province of China.
“I encourage Sichuan province to discover and explore Zimbabwe both as a tourist and an investment destination,” said Shaochun.
“I also urge Zimbabwean friends to visit Sichuan and get a better understanding of the real China.
“Sichuan province is a landlocked place with beautiful landscape and rich natural resources, with 53 mineral resources. It has beautiful mountains and rivers and is home to lovely panda which constitute 80 percent of the world’s panda population.
“The people are brave, passionate and hardworking just like Zimbabweans.”
Shaochun also said Zimbabwe and China people-to-people and cultural exchanges have significantly increased.
He said this was evidenced by that more Chinese were coming to Victoria Falls, liked Zimbabwe’s stone sculpture and enjoyed Zimbabwean sadza.
On the other hand, he said, Zimbabwean people were getting interested in Chinese culture, food and language.
Meanwhile, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who was the guest of honour at the event, said Sichuan dishes were one of the most famous regional cuisines in China that had gone beyond national to global appeal.
She said Zimbabwe and China had a long history and strong bond of friendship.
“Our President Mnangagwa was among the first and earliest cadres who trained at the Nanjing Military Academy and upon independence, the relationship blossomed,” she said.
“The Look East Policy saved Zimbabwe from economic strangulation.
“Zimbabwe is benefiting, especially in the energy sector.
“Kariba South and Hwange 7 and 8 power stations are testament, as Zimbabwe seeks self-sufficiency and even exports electricity.
“As we talk, Tsingshan Steel, the global leader in stainless steel accounting 25 percent production is on the verge of a multi-billion dollar investment in Mvuma.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the country remained alive to the core diplomatic interests of the two nations and was recently a victim of devastating Cyclone Idai.
Both the Chinese government and its nationals resident in Zimbabwe generously helped with rescue and recovery operations in the most hit areas of Chimanimani and Chipinge.