What Zim needs is help, not interference

Gou Shaochun Chinese Ambassador to Zim

Zimbabwean people are now in time of need, a circumstance substantially caused by illegal sanctions which have been in place for nearly 20 years.

The Government of China recently provided Zimbabwe with a series of aid totalling US$13 million from South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for providing emergency food assistance in Zimbabwe, repairing housing units, schools and clinics in the areas affected by Cyclone Idai, and providing living materials and health protection for women and children of the country.

The establishment of the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund was announced by President Xi Jinping on September 26 2015, when he attended the United Nations Development Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The fund is one of the important measures of the Government of China to support the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and also the sustainable development of other developing countries.

This is just part of China’s aid provided to Zimbabwe this year.

Right after Cyclone Idai, China swiftly provided to Zimbabwe US$80 000 in cash for emergency humanitarian assistance.

The food aid provided through bilateral channels just for this year — the donation of 10 165 tonnes of rice, and the free aid of drilling of 500 boreholes — are being implemented.

In the past few years, China has completed another 500 boreholes in Zimbabwe as free aid.

Another important aid through bilateral channels provided by China not long ago is that at the coordinators’ meeting of FOCAC at the end of June this year, China decided to provide a new grant to Zimbabwe to help the country complete post-cyclone reconstruction and other important projects.

China has never attached any political conditions to the assistance to Africa. This is our basic principle.

Unfortunately, many countries don’t do this. More accurately, they don’t want to. We believe all the assistance will help alleviate the difficulties encountered by Zimbabwean people.

Zimbabwean people are now in time of need, a circumstance substantially caused by illegal sanctions which have been in place for nearly 20 years.

Some countries claim that the so-called targeted sanctions did not have a major negative impact on the Zimbabwean economy and its people’s livelihood.

But such an argument is untenable as sanctions disrupt financial transactions between Zimbabwe and outside world and disable Zimbabwe from accessing lines of credit from international financial institutions, which is essentially needed for the development of a country.

We, therefore, join the majority of African countries in calling for immediate and unconditional removal of those illegal sanctions or so-called restrictive measures against Zimbabwe.

We support efforts of Zimbabwe to uphold its sovereignty, national security and development interests.

We also support its efforts to fend off foreign interference into its domestic affairs.

We do this because we understand how Zimbabwe feels about being interfered and sanctioned.

Lately, some Western countries and organisations are doing the same with Hong Kong, inciting riots and violence.

The facts and truth must be exposed to the world.

What happened in Hong Kong has gone far beyond the scope of freedom of assembly, procession and demonstration, and these radical, violent activities that severely undermine Hong Kong’s rule of law and social order, gravely threaten the life and property of Hong Kong citizens.

If the similar activities took place in any city in Western countries, no government would turn a blind eye on them.

Though China and Zimbabwe are geographically apart, what happened in Hong Kong may not be unfamiliar to Zimbabweans, especially when some members of US Congress, once again, proposed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which cannot but remind people of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001.

It is an old trick for the US to use sanctions to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs in furthering its own interests.

The practices of some countries towards Zimbabwe and Hong Kong have once again exposed their hypocrisy and double standards.

This is blatant hegemonism, which also shows that some countries are still intoxicated with the old dream of colonialism.

We have always advocated that countries big or small, poor or rich, shall treat each other as equals, respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and pursue peaceful coexistence with each other.

Those countries that have the habit of being teachers should worry more about their domestic troubles and do their own thing well.

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