The Sunday Mail
Fatima Bulla in Beijing, China
Zimbabwean officials are attending the inaugural China-Africa Defence and Security Forum which is currently underway here.
High-ranking security officials, among them Air Force of Zimbabwe boss, Air-Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayaonda and Defence Advisor at the Zimbabwe Embassy to China, Brigadier General Morgan Mzilikazi are part of the delegates from 50 African countries attending the China-Africa Defence and Security Forum.
Themed “Co-operation for Mutual Benefit”, the forum runs until July 10.
Brigadier General Mzilikazi said the forum provides ways to enhance security for peace and development.
“The President (Mnangagwa) has been calling for peaceful elections. This will move the country forward.
“This forum will develop peace and development for our country,” he said.
Sponsored by China’s Ministry of National Defence, with its National Defence University organising the programme, the Forum is inspired by Chinese President Xi Jin Ping’s guiding principles on foreign policy.
The forum seeks to deepen China and Africa’s comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as promoting a shared future under the broader framework of the Forum for China-Africa Co-operation.
As such, it aims to enhance mutual co-operation between China and Africa for peace and development, contribute to a growing defence and security system, as well as help Africa deal with new security risks and challenges.
Only last week, there was an assassination attempt on President Mnangagwa at a rally in Bulawayo.
The incident left two people dead and 47 others injured.
General Director of the Chinese Military International office in the Central Military Commission, Hu Changming said the platform focuses on strengthening security designing by paying attention to military equipment, professional and joint high-technology, among other issues in events of security threats.
During the period, delegates will have an opportunity to visit the Chinese army, navy and the air-force.
Under its 10-point plan to build a comprehensive strategic and co-operative partnership with Africa, China provided a grant of US$60 million to AU towards the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for the Immediate response to Crises.