Farirai Machivenyika, Harare Bureau
China’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Wang Yi has said the sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe by Western countries have no justification in international law and impede the country’s development.
Mr Wang, who arrived in the country on Saturday night said this while addressing a press conference soon after meeting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Sibusiso Moyo yesterday.
He is in the country on the last leg of his five-nation tour that has seen him visit Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea and Burundi.
His call against the illegal sanctions is in line with a resolution by Sadc and endorsed by the African Union that the embargo has impacted against the economy and brought untold suffering to ordinary people.
“The unilateral sanctions imposed by some countries and organisations on Zimbabwe have no basis in international law and they violate the legitimate development rights of Zimbabwe. China fully supports the just aspirations of Zimbabwe and African countries to quickly remove those sanctions on Zimbabwe,” he said.
Sadc Heads of State also took up the matter during last year’s UN General Assembly lobbying the international community to call for the removal of the sanctions imposed by the US and her Western Allies. Minister Wang said China and Zimbabwe had a big role to play on the international scene.
“Our countries have a big role to play by working together, in a world full of uncertainty both China and Zimbabwe stand on the right side of history on the side of equity and justice and on the side of developing countries.
“Both countries believe in the equality of nations irrespective of their size and reject the bullying of the weak. We both believe in win-win situations for our countries and reject zero-sum game. We both believe in multilateralism and the basic norms upholding international relations and reject unilateralism and bullying practices,” he said.
Minister Wang also said they discussed various issues related to the bilateral relations between the two countries.
“In recent years thanks to the joint support and guidance of President XI Jinping and President Mnangagwa, China-Zimbabwe relations have made fruitful results and create important opportunities,” he said.
“I am here with the primary goal to further implement the important agreement between the two Presidents and the outcomes of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and to further deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Zimbabwe. We had a productive meeting with Minister Moyo here and we reached so many important agreements.
“Over the past four decades China-Zimbabwe relations have withstood the big tests and stormy weathers and both sides have stood firmly by this friendship. The most fundamental aspect of that friendship is the mutual respect and support we have given each other all along. China supports Zimbabwe’s resolve to uphold national dignity and we support Zimbabwe’s efforts to independently explore a development path suited to its national conditions. We also appreciate Zimbabwe giving priority to China-Zimbabwe relations in its diplomacy and we also thank Zimbabwe for the invaluable support it has given China on core interests. We are prepared to always be good friends and good partners with Zimbabwe.”
Mr Wang added that Zimbabwe had the capacity to come out of the economic challenges it is facing.
“Out two sides need to uphold the win-win cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture and mining as well as explore new areas of growth. The Chinese side understands the difficulties and bottlenecks faced by Zimbabwe but we trust that Zimbabwe has the wisdom and capabilities to address these challenges and as Zimbabwe’s good friend we are also prepared to provide policy consultations and experiences we had based on Zimbabwe’s will,” he said.
Minister Moyo also said the meeting had been successful.
“We discussed a number of issues ranging from our own political, economic, social, cultural and other matters which are well embedded in our mutual interest and I can tell you that the meeting was very successful and we are looking forward to getting to greater heights between Zimbabwe and China,” he said.
In his opening address before the closed door meeting Minister Moyo also thanked China for the assistance it has rendered to the country. “Zimbabwe greatly appreciates the support that it has received from China in implementing projects that are key in its development and will contribute to the attainment of middle income economy status by 2030.
“Several projects such as Victoria Falls airport, Kariba Expansion have already been completed and tangible results are being seen. Not only has China extended support through project implementation, but has also provided humanitarian assistance following cyclone Idai and El Nino induced drought,” Minister Moyo said.
Yesterday’s meeting was also attended by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube, Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo, Dr Sekai Nzenza (Industry and Commerce), Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Perrance Shiri and Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mangaliso Ndlovu.