China has once again rallied behind Zimbabwe calling on the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on the Southern African nation. On the occasion of the 4th SADC anti-sanctions day held in Beijing, the Deputy Director of Africa Department in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yu Yong, assured Zimbabwe that China would continue to stand in solidarity with them. He stated that Zimbabwe was a sovereign state and should be allowed to handle its affairs with no interference.
The SADC Anti-sanctions Day is held annually on the 25th of October as set by SADC Heads of States to call upon the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by USA and its allies. The 4th anti-sanctions day was held at the Zimbabwean embassy in Beijing with SADC, African Union, Chinese government and Zimbabwean diaspora community representatives unanimously agreeing that sanctions had tormented the people of Zimbabwe enough and there was no justification for their continuation hence they should be removed immediately.
China strongly condemns all forms of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe since 2001. Referring to the veto vote in 2008 by China and Russia as permanent members of the UN security council, Yu Yong alluded to China’s commitment to see sanctions being lifted and liberating the people of Zimbabwe. China supports sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and therefore is clear on its position opposing unwarranted interference and unilateral sanctions against Zimbabwe.
He stated that sanctions were hurting the ordinary people of Zimbabwe making reference to the influx of Zimbabweans working in South Africa and other countries causing a massive brain drain.
“I know how these sanctions cause human suffering and degrading living standards. Zimbabwe used to be the most intelligent and educated manpower and used to be the breadbasket of Africa. “
He pointed out that China, through FOCAC and other initiatives had not left out Zimbabwe. China and Zimbabwe share similar aims and goals of uplifting the lives of their people.
Trade ties between the two countries were partially strengthened following the adoption of the “Look East Policy” as the Zimbabwean government sought to pragmatically engage China, and other countries in the Far-East in response to deteriorating relations with the Western countries.
“China and Africa will always be a community of shared future. Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries has been the cornerstone of China’s foreign policy, as well as a firm and longstanding strategy.”
The Communist Party of China (CPC) recently held its 20th National Congress and Zimbabwe was among the governments that delivered congratulatory messages to the CPC and President Xi Jinping for his election for a 3rd term as the Secretary General of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin during a press conference after the 20th CPC People’s congress said China remained firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace and has always decided its position and policy on issues based on their own merits.
Respondong to a question on China’s position regarding sanctions on Zimbabwe he said, “The decades-old sanctions imposed by the US and some other Western countries seriously violate Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, undermine the Zimbabwean people’s right to development, and contravene the basic norm in international relations of not interfering in other countries’ internal affairs.”
He further said that China firmly supported Zimbabwe in opposing external interference and pursuing a path of independent development. “We reiterate our call for the US and certain countries and organizations to lift illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe soon and take concrete actions to remedy the humanitarian consequences these sanctions have caused, instead of staying on the wrong side against international fairness and justice.”
He outlined China’s adherence to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other countries. It is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world and pursuing a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up.
“China sincerely calls upon all countries to hold dear humanity’s common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom and join forces to meet all types of global challenges.” Wenbin
In conclusion, Yu Yong said, “I hope this effort can be echoed by more and more African countries, so it reaches to the relevant people. I wish these people will go to Zimbabwe and see what these sanctions have done to the people of Zimbabwe. It’s unjust and unfair.”
The West, led by Britain and the United States, imposed the sanctions on Zimbabwe over differences with Zimbabwe on its land reform program. While the EU has eased the sanctions over the years, the United States and Britain continue to maintain the sanctions on the country.