The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe has expressed disquiet over comments by Norton legislator, Mr Temba Mliswa over Zimbabwe-China relations.
Mr Mliswa appeared to suggest that the cooperation between Harare and Beijing – a historical tie dating back to the national liberation struggle in Zimbabwe – was not beneficial to the latter in light of its economic challenges.
Mr Mliswa has also been at war with Chinese company, Sunny Yi Feng Tiles factory which has a plant in Norton, some 40 kilometres West of Harare.
Below is the full statement, issued by the Embassy last night:
Recently, Temba P. Mliswa, the MP of Norton, has made a series of accusations against the Sunny Yi Feng Tiles Factory (Zimbabwe), a project by a Chinese company in Zimbabwe. The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe attaches importance to this and hereby makes the following statement:
The Chinese government, in accordance with the laws and regulations, protects the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese enterprises and citizens. And at the same time, the Government always requires them to abide by the laws and regulations of the host countries and respect local customs.
The Chinese embassy attaches importance to MP Mliswa’s criticisms and proposals concerning the tiles factory and has since coordinated the two sides to solve the problem through dialogue and consultation on several occasions. With the facilitation of the Chinese embassy, the dialogue between the two sides is still going on and we expect it to produce positive results. If the relevant issues cannot be resolved through consultation, the two sides may settle them rationally through legal channels.
The Chinese embassy has also noted with serious concerns some remarks made by MP Mliswa concerning China-Zimbabwe cooperation. Mainly two points are: 1.If Chinese investment is so good for Zim, why is the Zimbabwean economy still struggling? 2. During the construction of the new Parly building, mineral extraction is the order of the day.
The Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe solemnly makes the statements as follows in response:
- To do its utmost to help Zimbabwe and its people is China’s foreign policy towards Zimbabwe. In recent years, The Victoria Falls Airport Expansion Project, the Mugabe International Airport Expansion Project, the Kariba South Hydro-power Station Expansion Project, the Hwange Power Station Expansion Project and so on, which have been or are being built with concessional loans from China, have played an important role in improving infrastructure and self-sustaining capacity for the economic and social development of Zimbabwe. The projects involve more than $2 billion.
A few days ago, China decided to provide another new batch of grant of 400 million RMB (58 million US dollars) to Zimbabwe to help the country complete post-cyclone reconstruction and other important projects. It is not only logically absurd, but also morally untenable to simply blame that Zimbabwe’s economic difficulty can be attributed to that China’s investment is not good for Zimbabwe. It is universally recognized that whether a country can get rid of poverty and achieve sustainable development mainly relies on its own efforts.
- The New Parliament Project is a project financed by the grant from the Chinese government. It does not have any attached project, nor does it spend a single penny from the Zimbabwean government’s coffer. This project is a manifestation of the profound friendship between the two governments and the peoples of China and Zimbabwe and brooks no one’s smear or distorting.
China and Zimbabwe enjoy a profound traditional friendship. The two sides have always rendered each other strong support on issues concerning each other’s core interests. China-Zimbabwe relations will not be affected by slander or vilifying by any individual. The Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe is firmly opposed to the move by certain individual or media to undermine the friendship and cooperation between the two countries through flinging abuses, fabricating rumors and malicious slander. This does no good to Zimbabwe’s own development. We sincerely hope that the Zimbabwean side will continue to create a more favorable environment for all foreign direct investment, including Chinese enterprises.