By Oleen Ndori, International News Editor
Nine development programmes proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 8th ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will soon be implemented in Zimbabwe.
This was revealed by the Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Guo Shaochun during a media briefing in Harare this Thursday.
An all-weather friend and key strategic development partner, China has reaffirmed commitment to supporting Zimbabwe in projects that spur economic development in line with the National Development Strategy One (NDS1) and Vision 2030.
Just after completing projects such as the new Parliament Building in Mt Hampden, the National Pharmaceutical Warehouse and ongoing work at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, the Chinese government has announced that there is more to come in this second half of the year.
“China and Zimbabwe will achieve a bumper harvest of cooperation this year. The Zimbabwe’s new Parliament Building and National Pharmaceutical Warehouse built with China’s grants have been completed and are not far away from handover. More and more fruits are growing and ripening in China-Zimbabwe cooperation. Good progress has been made at the Hwange thermal power station expansion, RGM International Airport expansion and phase 3 of NetOne’s mobile broadband upgrade. Another 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines donated by China will arrive in Zimbabwe this year,” he said.
“The Zimbabwe-China Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture Centre is serving more and more local people. Under a joint initiative between China and UNICEF, nearly two million Zimbabweans will be given access to medical and health care services. Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for Export of Zimbabwe Fresh Citrus to China has been signed.”
The Chinese Ambassador further provided clarity with regards to projects being undertaken in the country under various initiatives.
He said, “In recent years, China has supported Zimbabwe in constructing many major infrastructural projects. For example, the new Parliament Building, National Pharmaceutical Warehouse, 1000 China-aid boreholes and Mahusekwa District Hospital all built with China’s grants. The Kariba South Hydropower Extension Project, the Victoria Falls International Airport Extension Project, the Hwange thermal power station expansion, RGM International Airport expansion and phase 3 of NetOne’s mobile broadband upgrade are built with Chinese concessional loans.”
“We also helped rebuild houses, schools and clinics destroyed by Cyclone Idai under a joint initiative between China and UNDP. These major projects play critical role in the development of the country and make a real difference in the life of ordinary Zimbabweans. In the near future, more projects will be launched. This is the action to jointly implement nine programmes proposed by President Xi Jinping at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC. The China Aid projects include another 300 boreholes, the second phase of Zimbabwe Centre for High Performance Computing, Anti-Narcotics Laboratory, the Technical Aid of Agricultural Experts Group Implementation Programme (Phase IV) and 3 Demonstration Villages For Agriculture Technology,” he added.
China’s top diplomat in Harare also expressed his country’s dissatisfaction with the visit to Taiwan by the United States speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, stressing that it constitutes a gross interference in China’s internal affairs and seriously infringes on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“I would like to stress on behalf of the Chinese government and people that there is only One China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 provides a solid legal foundation to handle Taiwan-related questions under the one-China principle. The three Sino-US joint communiques embody the political commitments made by China and the US, and the one-China principle is the political foundation for China-US relations. Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would constitute a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and wantonly trample the one-China principle. China firmly opposes it and will take resolute and forceful measures to uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, all the consequences arising from therefrom must be borne by the US and “Taiwan independence” separatists force.”
He expressed Beijing’s appreciation to Harare for supporting the One China Policy and reiterated his country’s call for the lifting of unilateral sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
During the media briefing, Ambassador Guo also expressed satisfaction with the progress being made by the Dinson Iron and Steel Company (DISCO) which has completed preliminary work for the US$1 billion steel plant, with equipment worth US$100 million having been placed at the site in Manhize.