Pretoria, South Africa - The Chinese Embassy in South Africa has dismissed western media reports linking General Constantino Chiwenga's recent visit to Beijing to the Zimbabwe army's taking power in Harare.
General Chiwenga met Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan in Beijing early this month, in a visit that Zimbabwe analysts had first claimed was pushed by Robert Mugabe to enable him sack Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on November 6 to resolve a succession dispute.
After China's Foreign Ministry said the trip by Zimbabwe's military chief was a "normal military exchange" planned much earlier, the western media later put the "coup plan" spin on the story.
"This was a previously agreed exchange between the two sides, and it was approved by President Mugabe.The narrative of certain western media that this normal bilateral exchange is relevant to the Zimbabwe political crisis is purely guessing with ulterior motives," the China statement released on Monday said.
In the statement, the Chinese embassy in South Africa said; "It is beyond obvious that the purpose of certain elements trying to link the Zimbabwe political crisis with China is to undermine China's image and to drive a wedge between China and Africa. The relevant report is self-contradictory, full of logical fallacies, and filled with evil intentions."
Zimbabwe is locked in one of its worst political crises since independence with strongman Mugabe refusing to resign despite a military takeover, mass street protests and his dismissal from the ruling ZANU-PF party
"China and Zimbabwe share longstanding friendly relations. When Zimbabwe is faced with isolation and sanction by the West, China has upheld its principle, stood by the side of Zimbabwe, and carried out comprehensive mutually beneficial cooperation, which has brought benefits to the two countries and two peoples. "
China supports SADC
China said the issues in Zimbabwe are an internal matter, but added that they support regional body SADC efforts to resolve the crisis.
"China appreciates and supports the mediation efforts by SADC and other countries in the region for the peaceful resolution of the crisis. China believes that the people of Zimbabwe and relevant parties have the ability and wisdom to peacefully and properly resolve the issue under the legal framework so as to safeguard the fundamental interests of all Zimbabwean people.
"China is firmly committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and never interferes with the domestic affairs of other country. China is strongly committed to African people resolving African issue in an African way. China has full confidence that the Zimbabwean people are able to bring the country back to normalcy as soon as possible and achieve independent development.