The Sunday Mail
China places great importance to principle and the global economic giant will not go back on the development commitments it made to African countries, a senior Chinese diplomat has said.
Addressing media practitioners attending the Renowned Journalists from Africa Seminar here last week, veteran Chinese diplomat Ambassador Ren Xiaoping said China will not break its promises to Africa.
“As China, we always make it our policy to fulfil our promises,” she said.
“We have made many commitments in Africa to build infrastructure and we will not go back on our promise.
“It is not in the culture of the Chinese to break promises.”
Ambassador Ren said just one and a half years after the last Forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit was held in South Africa, a lot of progress has been made in implementing recommendations from that convention.
“Since the FOCAC summit, China has intensified its commitment to Africa,” she said.
“We have increased mutual high-level visits. China has also enhanced financial support to both the Government and private sector.
“We have particularly increased the industrial capacity building fund where a lot of special loans have been given to medium and small scale businesses.
“There are 11 financial institutions that are providing funding to Africa as we speak.
“The new phrase for our cooperation is now industrial capacity because most projects are moving in that direction and we want to see Africa industrialized.”
Ambassador Ren said under FOCAC, African countries and China agreed to focus on five pillars which are consolidation of political and mutual trust, striving for win-win cooperation, enhancing cultural exchanges, cooperation in security measures, cementing unity as well as coordinating international affairs.
Zimbabwe’s relations with China reached a crescendo in 2014 when President Mugabe visited Beijing as well as during President Xi Jinping’s reciprocal deputation to Harare in December 2015.
Both visits saw several massive agreements being signed by the two countries. In January this year, President Mugabe took time off his annual holiday to meet President Xi in Beijing with the two leaders’ further reinforcing commitment to fulfilment of signed agreements.
Some of the deals signed between the two countries such as the US$600 million Sino-ZimKariba South Power Expansion are now at an advanced stage of construction with the project expected to start producing power next year.
The Chinese also partnered Zimbabwe in the construction of the Victoria Falls International Airport.
Other projects includes the US$1 billion Hwange 7 and 8 expansion project, construction of the New Parliament and a national pharmaceutical warehouse.