Beijing - China and Zimbabwe signed several cooperation deals during a visit to Beijing by long-time Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Chinese media reported late Monday.

Mugabe began a state visit to China on Sunday, which has included talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two presidents witnessed the signing of several deals, including on food, finance and tourism.

Mugabe was an old friend of China, Xi was quoted as saying, praising him as a leader of Africa's struggle against colonialism.

Zimbabwe was committed to speeding up its economic development and hoped to boost Africa-China ties, Xinhua reported Mugabe as saying. - Sapa-dpa