Harare: China's President Xi Jinping visited Zimbabwe on Tuesday on a rare trip by a world leader to a country shunned by Western powers over President Robert Mugabe's widely-criticised record on human rights.
Xi was greeted at the airport by Mugabe, 91, who has ruled since independence in 1980, as hundreds of children waved Chinese and Zimbabwean flags along the road into the capital Harare.
"The people of Zimbabwe are overjoyed to host you," Mugabe told Xi at a state banquet.
Mugabe welcomed Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan describing them as "true and dear friends of the people of Zimbabwe."
The two leaders held talks and oversaw the signing by their ministers of 10 agreements and memorandums of understanding covering energy, aviation, telecommunications and investment promotion deals to shore up Zimbabwe's economy, which has fallen into dire straits under Mugabe's rule.