'China to continue supporting Zimbabwe'

Harare, Aug 22 (IANS) Chinese leadership has pledged its unchanged support to Zimbabwe's economic and social development following Robert Mugabe's re-election in the recent presidential poll.

Chinese special envoy Li Liguo conveyed to Mugabe, 89, Wednesday that China would encourage more businesses to invest in the African country, Xinhua reported.

Li, who acts as Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy, said his country's leadership attaches great importance to developing China-Zimbabwe relationship and will continue to support Zimbabwe's efforts to maintain stability and seek development.

"China will, as it did before, provide various sorts of aides for Zimbabwe's social and economic development, and encourage more and more Chinese businesses to invest in Zimbabwe, " Li said, adding the two nations are helping each other on the path of development and supporting on issues concerning their core interests.

Last year, China emerged as Zimbabwe's top foreign investor and the bilateral trade hit a new high of more than $1 billion.

Mugabe, who was re-elected as Zimbabwe's president July 31, is set to be sworn in Thursday.