The Chinese government has committed to offer professional development and career advancement scholarships to Zimbabweans wishing to undertake specialisation courses in the Asian country, as the two friendly nations seek to expand and consolidate their multi-faceted relations.

Zimbabwe and China continue to forge smart partnerships in various fields of cooperation, including education.

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping who was accompanied by some officials from his embassy paid a courtesy call on Minister of State for Government Scholarships in the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Christopher Mushohwe, Tuesday (today) morning as the Asian country aims to help the new administration accelerate its development agenda.

Speaking to journalists after a closed door meeting, Minister Mushohwe said they discussed higher education collaboration initiatives as China has advanced technology which could help support government’s industrialisation thrust.

“There is need to expand our scholarships to countries with high technological expertise so that we do not have to send our patients abroad to receive medical attention. We have now produced a brochure with areas of concentration,” said Cde Mushohwe.

China has extended assistance to Zimbabwe in the form of human capacity training programmes, technology transfer, infrastructure development and humanitarian assistance over the years and Ambassador Ping said his country is now seeking to offer professionals opportunities to go for further training in their areas of speciality.

“We will be mobilising resources not only from the Chinese government but from provinces and private companies to enable more Zimbabwean professionals to undertake manpower training and development programs in China,” said Ambassador Ping.

The Presidential Scholarship Programme was until a few years ago restricted to Fort Hare and 15 other South African universities, but has now spread to China after a Chinese company, Qingdao Hengshen started offering 50 fully funded  scholarships annually to Zimbabwean students to study at Ocean University.