China on Wednesday hailed the peaceful election in Zimbabwe and vowed to expand ties with the incoming government for mutual benefit of the two countries.
Head of the Chinese observer group to Zimbabwe Liu Guijin told reporters in Harare that the peaceful and credible polls will boost Chinese investments into the southern African country, which is eager to revive its economy after being in the doldrums for close to two decades.
Zimbabweans went to the polls Monday to elect a president, National Assembly members and councilors.
Results announced so far show that the ruling ZANU-PF party led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa won a parliamentary majority. Presidential election results are expected by Aug. 4.
“For Zimbabwe, this is an important moment and I hope that this election could be a new start for peace, development and prosperity,” Liu said.
He said the peaceful and democratic election would send a good and strong signal to the Chinese investors.
“Definitely we could expect more investments from China, more entrepreneurs both public and private coming to invest because for any foreign investor a peaceful environment, a consistent policy and a stable government are so very important,” he said.
“Chinese entrepreneurs and business people could be an effective partner of the Zimbabwe entrepreneurs and businesses. I see great potential for us to expand our cooperation,” Lin said.
China, he added, had been helpful in Zimbabwe’s development processes and “definitely we are going to do so with the new government of Zimbabwe and make our contributions to Zimbabwe’s transition and development.”
Meanwhile, Lin said a constructive opposition was essential in Zimbabwe and Africa to foster democracy and development.
He urged the opposition in Zimbabwe to desist from violence and to resolve any electoral disputes through legal channels.
The former Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe also stressed the need for people of Zimbabwe to work together regardless of political affiliation.
“The spirit of working together is highly needed in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is bestowed with rich natural resources, well educated people and a multiparty system and I think if people could work together, different political parties work together and they can make a huge difference.”
The Chinese envoy spoke as running battles ensued Wednesday afternoon between police and opposition supporters in the capital Harare protesting against alleged rigging of the election.