Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe (L) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing August 25, 2014. Mugabe, at 90 Africa's oldest leader and one of its longest-serving, is visiting China this week. Officials say he will seek funds to rebuild decaying roads, rail and power facilities and to help mechanise Zimbabwe's agriculture. Official data show China has extended $1 billion (R10.7 billion) in loans to Zimbabwe since 2009 and trade between the two nations rose to $1 billion last year from $300 million five years ago. - Reuters

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