China's foreign minister is pledging bolstered support for Zimbabwe to counter Western economic restrictions against top leadership in the southern African nation.

Minister Yan Jiechi said Friday that China plans to increase economic cooperation with its longtime African ally in mining, agriculture and other ventures. He met with President Robert Mugabe in Harare.

At the United Nations, China and Russia vetoed Western calls for full-scale U.N.-backed economic sanctions to protest Mugabe's record of human and democratic rights violations over years of political and economic turmoil.

Mugabe thanked Yang for China's training of his guerrillas to help in "demolishing colonialism" before independence from British colonial rule in 1980.