Moyo denies Zimbabwe a junior trade partner to China

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Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo said that Zimbabwe’s cooperation with China has always been a win-win and one of mutual trust.

He said that Zimbabwe’s geographical location in southern Africa, combined with the support of the Chinese government, its financial institutions and companies in funding roads, rail, energy, telecommunications, and many other projects, presents vast opportunities for being a regional hub and a strategic partner under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Despite accusations that China’s infrastructure financing under the BRI is pushing countries involved in the initiative into a “debt trap”, Moyo said that in any cooperation framework, including the BRI, it is important that countries identify and adopt appropriate financing models that limit exposure to debt.

“It should also be noted that the issue of debt sustainability is a sovereign issue, which should not be a concern to other countries. Our cooperation with China is and has always been on the basis of win-win and mutual trust,” he said.

He added that Zimbabwe would also like to draw lessons from China’s experience of achieving rapid economic growth and prosperity, and the “unparalleled feat” has resulted in millions of people being lifted up from poverty.

“The Chinese success story is an illustration of a combination of coordinated strategic planning, effective management and implementation, hard work, discipline and perseverance that must be emulated,” he said.

Over 80 African ministerial-level officials from 53 countries are in Beijing attending the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation that began Monday and ends Tuesday.

“We hail FOCAC (the forum) for establishing a platform that continually reviews its implementation mechanism and also note with satisfaction the commendable progress made so far,” he said.

He said forum members desire to ensure that the agreed Beijing Action Plan of 2019-2021 is implemented in pursuit of mutually beneficial cooperation. In light of this, these meetings are important as they give further impetus to that progress.

He added that the trend towards unilateralism and protectionism by some countries in the world goes against the grain of multilateralism, which is widely accepted in international discourse.

“Zimbabwe stands firmly against such tendencies and embraces President Xi Jinping’s vision of a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said.