16 December 2017
   
Oppah new Zanu PF chair; but no VPs yet
Tsvangirai sought ED talks: Mugabe priest
G40’s Sekeramayi axed from politburo
Man strips for sex with donkey; nabbed
Sperm harvesters hit SA; man raped
Mnangagwa vows new path for Zanu PF
Congress seals Bob’s fall from grace
Vote rigging fear at Zuma succession
MORE NEWS
Indigenisation: IMF welcomes changes
Vic Falls Bridge toll fees introduced
MORE BUSINESS
Divisive South African film eyes Oscars
Zimbabwe totes obsessed with Zodwa
MORE SHOWBIZ
Jose Mourinho faces Ibrahimovic dilemma
FIFA threatens Spain with W-Cup ban
MORE SPORTS
Change must follow Mugabe’s fall
Coup: why the China role theory is hollow
MORE OPINION
 
Chivayo and the groupie effect
Nelson Chamisa on Washington trip
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Chinese Foreign Minister visits Zimbabwe
08/02/2011 00:00:00
by AFP
 
Strengthening ties ... Yang Jiechi
 
RELATED STORIES
Zim back in business, vows Chinamasa
$153m Chinese loan for Mugabe airport
Xi to Bob: China on your side all the way
Chinese too smart for Mugabe, says Musewe
Bob rejects China's bid for Kamativi favours
China influence high in Zimbabwe: Report
Chinese take over former white owned farms
China donates 20 000 tonnes of rice
China marks muted 120th birthday of Mao
Chinese vice premier arrives for visit
Chinese companies not comrades: Biti
China can transform Africa: Moyo
China, Zimbabwe trade to hit US$1bln
Yuan under pressure as growth slows
Zimbabwe defaults on $200m China loan
PM draws fire over China delegation size
Zimbabwe trade with China tops US$800m
Chinese firms face worker abuse probe
Chinese couple cleared in US$500k swindle
SMEs squeezed by Chinese invasion
Chinese companies 'bleeding' economy
Mugabe seeks China, Russia protection
China keen to expand economic ties
Mugabe an 'old friend': China
Tutu fury over Dalai Lama visa snub
China's critics doing US bidding: AGO
China extends US$700m loan to Zim
China eyes US$3bn platinum investment
Hu Jintao pledge after Mugabe talks
Mugabe hails 'all weather friend' China

CHINESE Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi began a two-day visit to Zimbabwe on Tuesday to buttress ties between the Asian powerhouse which has solidly backed the southern African nation battered by western isolation.

Yang’s two-day visit is “to further consolidate bonds and friendships between our two peoples,” the Chinese embassy in Harare said.

He is expected to meet President Robert Mugabe and senior government officials.

“We are confident that after Minister Yang’s visit, Sino-Zimbabwe relations will be uplifted to a higher level,” ambassador Xin Shunkang told journalists, when announcing Yang’s visit.

Yang’s visit comes weeks after Zimbabwe’s Investment Promotion Minister Tapiwa Mashakada announced plans by China Development Bank to fund investments worth US$10 billion in Zimbabwe’s mining, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.

Zimbabwe and China have political ties dating back before Zimbabwe’s independence when Beijing provided arms and training to guerrillas fighting British colonial rule.

China has also been pivotal in protecting Zimbabwe at the UN. In 2008, China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution seeking sanctions against Harare.

Chinese construction companies are involved in major projects in Zimbabwe, including the construction of the country’s main sports stadium and several government buildings.

Ambassador Xin said Yang’s visit at the invitation of his Zimbabwe counterpart was to “show our support to Zimbabwe’s justified requests at international arena and exploit and expand our mutually beneficial co-operation.”

In 2010, China exported US$159 million worth of goods to Zimbabwe, according to the national statistics agency.

“Chinese companies have made inroads in the main sectors of the economy,” said Takavafira Zhou, a political scientist from Masvingo State University.

“We may be apportioning the country to the Chinese companies and regret later. What we are having is Chinese imperialism. The Chinese businesses are killing local companies and unfortunately with the blessing of Zanu PF,” said Zhou, referring to Mugabe’s party.

Faced with the crippling western sanctions, Mugabe adopted a “look east” policy, which saw the country receiving loans from a number of eastern nations.

Political commentator Christopher Mutsvangwa said Yang’s impending visit was an affirmation of burgeoning ties.

“The political bond is now taking an economic dimension as China is looking at business opportunities in Zimbabwe,” Mutsvangwa, a former ambassador to China, said.



Advertisement

In recent years, Chinese traders have moved into shops previously left empty at the height of the country’s economic crisis. But Asians have been criticised for flooding the local market with cheap-quality imports, derisively referred to as “zhing-zhong” which have been blamed for putting locals out of business.

“Mugabe has stated several times that he was looking east in terms of investment ... perhaps China can fill a void where the west has left gaps,” said Sanusha Naidu, research director for emerging powers in Africa Initiative for Fahamu, a human rights and social justice advocacy group.

“China is also looking at resources that Zimbabwe has. The visit could be also about looking at the other actors in the Zimbabwe economy in terms of how Chinese investors compete with South African and Indian investors,” Naidu said.

Sanne van der Lugt, a research analyst at the Centre for Chinese Studies at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University, said China is one of Zimbabwe’s few remaining friends.

Zimbabwe’s economy is recovering from a decade long political crisis which paralysed the economy and shut down industries. The crisis ended with a shaky power sharing government between Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark

 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker