#UK Chinese leader Xi Jinping welcomed in cash-strapped Zimbabwe

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, centre, and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, centre right,  watch a performance by Zimbabwean traditional dancers upon his arrival in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, Dec. 1. 2015. Jinping is in Zimbabwe for a two day State visit during which he is set to sign some bilateral agreements aimed at strengthening relationships between the two countries. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Thousands of people lined Harare’s roads and welcomed Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose visit has raised hopes that China will help stabilize Zimbabwe’s faltering economy.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe greeted Xi at the airport.

Xi inspected a guard of honor at the airport but did not speak on his arrival. He is expected to address a joint press conference with Mugabe after signing economic deals later on Tuesday.

Chinese ambassador to Harare Huang Ping said that China is Zimbabwe’s biggest foreign investor, pumping in $600 million in 2013. He said Mugabe and Xi are expected to sign several economic deals.

Xi is in Zimbabwe until Wednesday before heading to South Africa for a forum on cooperation between Africa and China.

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