from SIMBARASHE RUSHWAYA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – CHINA has defended its solid relations with Zimbabwe amid alleged smear campaigns against the ties and sanctions on the African country, both by Western nations.
The Sino-Zimbabwe relations date back to the liberation struggle against colonialism by Britain. Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980.
China has made massive investments in the Southern African nation, and these have proven crucial as Zimbabwe battles sanctions imposed at the turn of the millennium.
Zimbabwe thus regards China as an “all-weather friend.”
“Smear campaigns against Chinese investments harm Zimbabwe’s prospects of attracting Foreign Direct Investments and make illegal sanctions roar,” the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe stated.
The embassy insisted the propaganda failed to sway public opinion and acceptance of Chinese investments in Zimbabwe.
“More harvest and a bright future shall be in Zimbabwe,” the embassy projected.
“Their (West’s) illegal sanctions continue to cripple Zimbabwe today, making life difficult and crushing dreams. This needs to stop. We have had long term mutual support, fruitful results in multi-area cooperation and large investment with tangible benefit for the people.”
Global economic powerhouse China blames Western propaganda against it on Zimbabwe.
“Western discourse trap will find no room in Sino-Zimbabwe friendship; smear and malicious attacks only bring us closer. China respects Zimbabwe as an independent nation with a proud culture,” the embassy assured.
“On the back of excellent bilateral relations, Chinese companies have been investing in and growing with Zimbabwe for years. They keep connected to the global economy despite the choking illegal sanctions. Closer China/Zimbabwe relations deliver real development for Zimbabwe.”
Among other major projects, China is currently upgrading the Hwange Power station, the country’s biggest airport Robert Mugabe International in Harare and the New Parliament Building recently constructed in Mt Hampden north of the capital city.
In 2020, Zimbabwe exported US$193 million worth of products to China.
The main products were ferroalloys, nickel ore and processed tobacco.
For the past 25 years Zimbabwe has exported goods at the annual rate of 4,33 percent.
Some of the Chinese companies in Zimbabwe are Hubei Agricultural Reclamation, Shandong Dezhou Shuangfeng Cotton Industry Company, Sinotex, China CAMC Engineering company and the country’s largest tile manufacturer Sunny Yi Feng.
Christopher Mutsvangwa, ruling Zimbabwe African national Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Secretary for Information, said China had a non-interference policy in Africa.
“China has given Africa a development dividend, which it would have if Western countries had remained dominant,” Mutsvangwa, a former Zimbabwe Ambassador to China, said.
Zimbabwe has assured Chinese of the safety of their businesses and nationals in the wake of the Islamist insurgency in neighbouring Mozambique as well as some tensions between locals and Chinese companies.
It is alleged Western nations are colluding with some local forces to fan the differences.
“Zimbabwe is one of the most peaceful countries in the region and I can assure that investments in Zimbabwe, including Chinese, are secure. Our country is a safe place to be and our security system is intact,” Kazembe Kazembe, Minister of Home Affairs, assured.
This was to repute doubts over Zimbabwe’s safety, as for example had been raised by Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), led by Obert Masaraure.
The teachers union alleged political tensions, crime and economic policy inconsistences.
“Government should guarantee security of persons and create a business friendly environment, with predictable and consistent policies coupled with respect for property rights,” said Msaraure.
Economist Tonderai Mazanhi said the country was generally peaceful, save for sporadic political clashes.
“Zimbabwe is a safe place to invest because of its peaceful nature,” Mazanhi endorsed.
He said South African-headquartered companies in Zimbabwe attested to that.
“Unlike other countries where there is violence, Zimbabwe is not like that,” the economist said.
“We have challenges as a nation but investments are surely secure. Yes there is political violence, but normally that does not interfere with business,” Mazanhi concluded.
– CAJ News