CHINA has won praise for maintaining good relations with Tanzania having transcended the traditional government to government contacts and extended to people to people cooperation.
The unique relations have enabled the clove-rich Zanzibar islands attain their development goals, Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein has said.
He made the remarks when he met the Chinese Consulate- General in Zanzibar (Tanzania) Xie Xiaowu who paid a courtesy call to him as part to bid farewell after the end of his term in office.
“We are happy with the ongoing bilateral relations with China. We have achieved a lot since China started supporting us in different fields in the past 56 years,” the president told the Chinese outgoing envoy.
He said that the historical Zanzibar-China relations bore fruit in improving trade, tourism, investment, and infrastructure, which were priorities for bilateral cooperation.
Dr Shein took the opportunity to salute his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for implementing more than 90 per cent of his promises to support Zanzibar.
The Zanzibar leader visited China in 2013. Some Zanzibar projects supported by China include Abdalla-Mzee Hospital in Pemba, the Mao Ze Dong stadium, and the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport Terminal III which will be inaugurated on Monday.
“Since we now have a reputable international airport, it is high time for airlines from China to have direct flights to Zanzibar. It is fortunate that most airlines have links with Zanzibar,” Dr Shein said.
He said expansion of the Zanzibar airport with a new terminal will boost tourist arrivals – a key opportunity for job creation.
He appealed to Chinese businesspeople to come to Zanzibar and launch their business ventures taking into consideration the conducive business climate.
“Thank you for the development support which includes the control of the Covid- 19 pandemic,” Dr Shein said.
The Chinese envoy promised to strengthen the very special relationship that dates back from the days of the generation of leadership of the founding fathers of Zanzibar and the Mainland.
“Our relations will continue even after winning the war against Covid-19,” the Consul General said.