US smear campaign against Chinese investments should stop Beijing Says Smear Campaign As US Terms China Most Serious Challenge - BW Businessworld

Last week, the United States Embassy in Zimbabwe sponsored a workshop for “investigative” journalists whose main resolution was to criticise Chinese investments in Zimbabwe.

This was the second such workshop since the inaugural one last year held in Harare. As part of the nefarious programme, journalists are paid to write negative stories against Chinese investments, alleging all sorts of ills against the Chinese with the intention of breeding ill will towards China.

As has been observed in the past year, journalists go out in the provinces to dig out negative aspects in industrial and community relations and environmental issues.

Despite the claims that the “investigations” are impartial and meant to advance transparency and expose corruption in foreign investments, stories published by the journalists who are on the payroll of the US Embassy through a local “partner” show shocking levels of bias, racism and xenophobia.

In the majority of cases, the journalists do not seek the voices of companies they accuse of wrongdoing. That would spoil the “good” story, wouldn’t it?

In fact, there is a shocking disregard for basic tenets and ethics of journalism by the hired guns, who – expectedly – are all too keen to get stories published so that they can earn a dollar for spreading lies.

The highly sensationalised stories, fiction, fake news and misinformation have become the stock in trade for the journalists – most of them working for anti-Government private media.

In one shocking instance, for example, a newspaper claimed that a British company operating in Hwange, northwestern Zimbabwe, was Chinese.

In the past year, the Chinese Embassy and the Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in Zimbabwe protested heavily the skewed and fake news.

However, to show sincerity, the Chinese Embassy and business body noted that there could be a few bad apples, but this didn’t warrant painting the whole Chinese business black.

Further, they revealed that China firmly supports the Zimbabwean government in developing a more robust legal and regulatory framework to ensure lawful practices by all foreign investors in Zimbabwe.

They would not protect wrongdoers. The Chamber outlined a nine point plan for businesses operating here so that they could be in harmony with the law and communities they operate in.

However, the US has no such scruples: in its geopolitical war with China – directed from the State Department which has millions’ worth war chest to “counter Chinese influence” –  the former is so shameless that it can play dirty, and throw dirty money around poor journalists to soil the good image of China.


Hiding behind the finger

The shamelessness by the US is so brazen. Following the meeting held outside Harare last week, a newspaper article by one private daily demonstrated how the US was proverbially hiding behind the finger.

Part of the report read: “The IDT (the local implementing organisation sponsored by the US) has since last year been helping Zimbabwean and southern African journalists investigate foreign investments with support from the US embassy and other partners like the Africa-China Reporting Project.

“Most of the investigations supported by IDT so far have mainly focused on Chinese investments, mostly because China provides the largest number of foreign investors.”

It is dishonest and facetious for the US to put out this lame justification for targeting only Chinese investments when Zimbabwe has a number of current projects and businesses originating from other countries.

At the same time, positive outcomes of Chinese investments such as employment creation, contribution to the Fiscus and massive corporate responsibility programmes by Chinese companies, have been ignored.


Hoist by own petard

Zimbabwe has opened up to the world. President Mnangagwa welcomed investors with his “Zimbabwe Is Open for Business” clarion call.

Chinese companies have needed the call – taking considerable risks investing in Zimbabwe. On the other hand, US and Western countries have failed to take advantage because they maintain illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The sanctions are their problem.

Also, the West is reluctant to work with the current Government because of political reasons, as they have political preferences, hence a wait-and-see stance.

China is enjoying the party, through mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation through a comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era.

It is cynical for US to try to spoil this successful cooperation through lowbrow attacks on Chinese investment by hired journalists.

This is clearly not in the interest of Zimbabwe. The journalists are doing a disservice to the motherland, for a few pieces of silver.

China needs to be celebrated for its all-weather friendship with Zimbabwe, rather than be attacked and smeared.

The relations between the two sides have blossomed, and the two countries have constantly be on the same side in fighting US and Western imperialism and hegemony.

The US cannot be allowed to separate the two through corrupting a few journalists.


You Might Also Like