18 November 2017

Zimbabwe: 'China Paying Close Attention to Zim'

Photo: Damien Glez/This is Africa
Damien Glez of This is Africa on developments in Zimbabwe.

IN the wake of the intervention by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces into the affairs of Zanu-PF ostensibly to, in their own words, to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may have resulted in violent conflict; there have been various theories and conspiracy theories as to what led to the intervention and those involved. Below we reproduce reactions from the Chinese government, which has been accused in some quarters of complicity.

Q: According to the website of China's Defence Ministry, General Constantine Guveya Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, was in China last Friday. Did he inform China of his plan on "military takeover"? What is your comment?

A: Just like you said, the Defence Ministry already released information on the visit of General Chiwenga, Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. I can only tell you that his visit is a normal military exchange mutually agreed upon by China and Zimbabwe.

As for the details of his visit, I have little to share. If you need more information, I would refer you to the Defence Ministry.

Q: Sources said the former Vice President of Zimbabwe had fled to China. Can you confirm it and comment on the current situation in Zimbabwe?

A: As a friendly country to Zimbabwe, we are closely following the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe's peace, stability and development serve the fundamental interests of the country itself and other regional countries. It is also the common wish of the international community. We hope that Zimbabwe could properly handle its internal affairs.

As for the whereabouts of the former Vice President of Zimbabwe, I can assure you that he is not in China.

Q: Zimbabwe is an important partner for China's Belt and Road Initiative on the African continent, and now it is in political turmoil. Will China adjust its investment risk assessment on Zimbabwe accordingly in light of the latest development?

A: I already gave my response to the situation in Zimbabwe yesterday. China has been paying close attention to what is unfolding in Zimbabwe. We sincerely hope that Zimbabwe could maintain political stability and the relevant issues be resolved peacefully and properly.

As for China's investments and projects in Zimbabwe you asked about, the friendly cooperation between China and Zimbabwe is an all-around one and beneficial to the peoples in both countries. China's friendly policy towards Zimbabwe will not change. We stand ready to develop our friendly cooperation with Zimbabwe under the principle of equality, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation.

Source: Foreign Affairs Ministry, China

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