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China Says it Respects Mugabe's Decision to Resign

FILE - In this file photo taken on Aug. 25, 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shows Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe the way during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

China said on Wednesday that it respects Robert Mugabe's decision to resign as Zimbabwe's president, a week after the African country's army and Mugabe's former political allies moved to end his four decades of rule.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the remark during a regular press briefing, adding that China's policy toward Zimbabwe would not change.

Zimbabwe and China have been trading over the years under what the southern African nation calls a Look East Policy after it was shunned by the West following accusations of human rights abuses and election rigging.

Mugabe stepped down on Tuesday at a time parliament was attempting to impeach the 93 year old former liberation fighter, who has presided over an almost comatose economy.

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