Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping has rubbished assertions that China wants to colonise Africa. Speaking on the sidelines of a public lecture at the University of Zimbabwe, Mr Huang said China was committed to the principles of sincerity and goodwill. The lecture was titled: “China’s Development and China’s Relations with Africa and Zimbabwe” and was attended by mostly students from the Confucius Institute at the University of Zimbabwe.
“China did not come to colonise anyone, we cherish the way of cooperation, of peace and development,” said Mr Huang.
Mr Huang outlined progress being made in the implementation of the mega deals signed between Zimbabwe and China two years ago.
He said the Kariba South Hydro Power Station will be completed in the first quarter of next year, with one of the two generators put on the national grid by the end of this year.
The power station is being constructed by Chinese firm Sino Hydro, with financial support from the China Eximbank.
Mr Huang said Chinese constructors were waiting for the Zimbabwean Government to construct a link road and other amenities before moving on site to build the new Parliament Building in Mt Hampden.
The financial negotiations for the expansion of the Hwange Thermal Power Station were being concluded, he said.
Plans for the pharmaceutical warehouse to be built by the Chinese were being drafted by Chinese architects and the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Mr Huang said other deals being implemented were at varying stages, while China had provided finances for numerous projects in Zimbabwe.
Commenting on reports that Chinese business people were abusing employees in Zimbabwe, Ambassador Huang said they always taught their people to respect the laws of the country.
“We teach our people to live harmoniously with the local people and shoulder responsibility as part of this community, but I cannot guarantee that everyone is a good guy,” he said.
“If someone is committing crimes against your laws and regulations here, then arrest them.”
UZ’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Professor Pedzisai Mashiri dismissed propaganda circulating to the effect that China wanted to colonise Africa.
“It is a foolish argument,” he said. “It is a colonial imperialist argument because Africa has remained as one of the virgin land in the world in terms of natural resources” he said
“Europe and America are competing for resources with China, so there is a fierce competition and obviously the presence of China in Africa threatens the interests of Europe and America.
“When you hear the West talking about China colonising Africa, they are simply trying to create propaganda in order to brainwash Africans to fight and resist Chinese involvement in Africa.”
Prof Mashiri said history recorded that the Chinese were on the African shores long before the coming of the Europeans.
By Collen Murahwa