ILLEGAL economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western nations have not only stunted regional development but have had a negative impact on the international political and economic order, the world biggest economy China has said.
In a statement, China, which recently overtook the United States to become the world’s biggest economy, as per the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Output 2020, called for the unconditional removal of the economic embargo stifling Zimbabwe’s economic growth.
The statement follows the holding of a successful Anti-Sanctions Day by SADC countries last Saturday.
“We noted that as the second Anti-Sanctions Day was marked, African countries once again spoke out. China supports their voice for justice.
“The long-term unilateral sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by a handful of countries and organisations, including the United States, have seriously damaged Zimbabwe’s ability to develop its economy and improve people’s livelihood, hindered efforts to deepen cooperation and achieve common development in the Southern Africa region, and also impacted the international political and economic order and the global governance system.
“China has always firmly supported Zimbabwe and other African countries in opposing external interference and pursuing the path of independent development,” read a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Instead of maintaining the illegal sanctions, Western nations and the world at large should play a part towards helping African countries like Zimbabwe fight the Covid-19, a global pandemic that has disrupted economic activities.
“We hold that the international community should play a constructive role in helping Africa maintain stability and achieve development.
“The few countries and organisations, such as the United States, should lift illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe as soon as possible and take practical actions to help it fight the pandemic and resume economic development”.
Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe at the turn of the millennium, in the aftermath of the land reform programme, have caused untold suffering on the general populace contrary to misinformation by some Western nations and their lackeys in the opposition.
The unilateral sanctions have resulted in Zimbabwe failing to access lines of credit as is the case with its regional counterparts, while companies have been dissuaded from investing in the country or risk penalties.
Posting on micro-blogging platform Twitter, China’s director-general in the Department of African Affairs, Mr Wu Peng said because of their devastating effects, the economic embargoes should be lifted immediately.
“Today (Sunday) is the Anti-Sanctions Day set by the SADC summit last year. The unbearable inflictions upon millions of Zimbabweans are devastating.
“We strongly support the appeals for the unconditional lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe”.
Because of the illegal sanctions, Zimbabwe could not access assistance to fight the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, effects of successive droughts have also left the country vulnerable but still with no access to international loans.
SADC countries in Tanzania last year declared October 25 the Anti-Sanctions Day to lobby as a region for the unconditional removal of the punitive economic embargoes that have cost Zimbabwe of billions over the years.