The Chinese Embassy in Harare has dismissed claims by the United States in its 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report that some Chinese companies operating in the country are using forced labour.
In a statement, the embassy said the accusations were baseless and aimed at tarnishing relations between Zimbabwe and China.
The Trafficking in Persons Report is published by the US State Department annually and has been produced since 2000.
In its latest report, the US accused China of not meeting the minimum standards to prevent human trafficking.
“We take note of the claims made by the United States government in its 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report, that some Chinese nationals were in forced labour in Zimbabwe and some Chinese companies employed practices indicative of forced labour.”
“We want to make it clear that this is a groundless accusation designed to taint China’s image and sabotage the good relations between China and Zimbabwe.
“The relevant department of the United States government should focus more on protecting the human rights of its own citizens and resolving its own problems at home, particularly under the current tough circumstances, and stop peddling falsehoods about other countries and their people.
“The exchanges between the peoples of China and Zimbabwe and the practical cooperation between the two countries are indestructible; it will not be affected by any smear,” said the embassy.
The US report was published last month and profiles every country.