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, Monday. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on a visit to China hoping the long-time ally and economic giant can help the African nation’s ailing economy.

Mugabe was welcomed Monday with a 21-gun-salute at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and hailed by Xi as a “renowned leader of the African national liberation movement” and an old friend of the Chinese people.

The leaders oversaw the signing of a number of agreements, including on economic, trade and tourism cooperation and emergency food donations and concessional loans from China to Zimbabwe. No details were immediately released.

Mugabe told Xi that Zimbabwe, being the smaller country, benefited more from the relationship, but said his government would do its best to “reciprocate your friendship.”