Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Sanctions that were imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries have no justification in international law and impede the country’s development, Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister and State Councillor Mr Wang Yi has said.
He said China was confident Zimbabwe would successfully solve its economic challenges.
Mr Wang, who arrived here on Saturday night, stressed at a Press conference yesterday after a meeting with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo: “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.”
Mr Wang is in Zimbabwe on the last leg of his five-nation tour that has seen him visit Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea and Burundi.
Minister Moyo described the meeting with his Chinese counterpart as having 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.
Mr Wang’s call against the illegal sanctions dovetails with a resolution by Sadc and endorsed by the African Union that the embargo has negatively affected the economy and brought untold suffering to ordinary people.
Sadc Heads of State also took up the matter during last year’s United Nations General Assembly, lobbying the international community to call for the removal of the two-decades long sanctions regime.
Mr Wang said Zimbabwe had the capacity to come out of the economic challenges it was facing.
“Our two sides need to uphold the win-win cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture and mining and meanwhile explore new areas of growth in our cooperation. 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.
Speaking on the role of China and Zimbabwe he said: “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. Both of us believe in win-win situations for our countries and reject zero-sum game. Both of us believe in multilateralism and the basic norms upholding international relations and reject unilateralism and bullying practices,” he said.
Mr Wang said he and Minister Moyo discussed issues related to 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 stood 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 our core interests. We are prepared to always be good friends and good partners with Zimbabwe.”
In his opening address before the closed-door meeting, Minister Moyo 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, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri and Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu.