China has pledged to maintain the cordial relations between the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which dates back to the colonial era.

The ties between China’s LPA and the ZDF are to strengthen further with more cooperation in military circles improving ZDF.

Addressing the Chinese community, diplomats and ZDF senior officers at the Chinese Embassy in Harare during the 91st anniversary of the PLA celebrations, the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping said China occupies a vital place in the history of Zimbabwe since pre-colonial times.

“We are no longer colleges but true friends as we built our PLA and ZDF,” said Ambassador Ping.

Senior Colonel Li Jun Chinese Defence Advisor in Zimbabwe highlighted that the PLA was founded in 1927 for the Chinese struggle leading to the eventual attainment of independence in 1949.

“Our relations with Zimbabwe’s ZDF dates back to early 1960s,” he said.

Air Force of Zimbabwe Air Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayawonda who was standing in for Commander ZDF General Philip Valero Sibanda also said China has provided the training and weaponry and other logistical support to Zimbabwe’s revolutionary struggle during the country’s liberation war.

“The outcome of our liberation could not have been the same without the unwavering support from China,” Air Vice Marshal Shumbayawonda said.

China has also helped Zimbabwe in other areas like agriculture, mining and industry a move set to improve the country’s economy.