CHINESE ambassador to Zimbabwe, Guo Shaochun, says his country respects the rights of African countries, including Zimbabwe and their quest for development and vowed his country will never attach political strings to assistance advanced to Africa.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Shaochun made the remarks in his address at this year’s edition of the Dreamstar Talent Search national finals at the Harare International Conference Centre on Saturday.
“The China-Africa relationship is deeply rooted in our common quest for liberation, justice and independence. We have never attached any political conditions for assistance to Africa. This is our basic principle,” he said.
“We, as the Chinese Embassy, highly-appreciate the cordial relations and co-operation that exist between China and Zimbabwe. This relationship dates back to the days of the liberation struggle when China fully supported the national independence of Zimbabwe. Since then, we have come a long way.”
Shaochun said like many African countries, China has had the bitter experience of having its economy controlled by foreign powers and being subjected to unjust treatment, exploitation and oppression.
“Over the past 70 years, China has grown into the second largest economy in the world, contributing over 30% annually to the global economic growth. China is not growing alone as it is fostering good relations and co-operation with African countries under the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation and the Belt and Road Initiative for the mutual benefit of China and African countries, including Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said China was now the largest trading country in goods and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world, with 740 million people having been lifted out of poverty in China.
“In the coming 15 years, China plans to import 24 trillion United States dollars in goods, open up a two-trillion-dollar market to foreign investors and invest US$750 billion overseas, while Chinese tourists will make more than two billion overseas visits,” he said.