Sino-Zimbabwe Relations: The Past and the Present

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BY Tapiwa Bere and Takudzwanashe Mundenga

The first day of December will mark an auspicious historical event as the nation witnesses the state visit of the Chinese VIP. This comes to existence when Zimbabwe has a sizeable influence in the continent owing to being the chair of the regional bloc, the African Union (AU). Besides the visit being of paramount importance to Zimbabwe alone, it would mean a lot to Africa as well.

Contemporary events are shaped by the history, China has been with Zimbabwe through the thick and the thin, during the liberation struggle up to the present time. The young poet, Takudzwanashe Mundenga esteemed the bilateral relationship between Zimbabwe and China by the comment “Her Red Army inspired our revolutionaries who fought like Zealots to the free lovely Zimbabwe, from Matopo to Maputo the Chimurenga war cry was heard, China was with us and still with us both in pangs and bangs. A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

In fulfilment of the common English saying; “a friend in need is a friend indeed”, Zimbabwe eagerly waits for the historical making event in which the President of the Republic of China His Excellence Xi Jinping accompanied by a delegation of Chinese investors will jet in Zimbabwe on the 1st of December 2015 on a two day state visit. The coming of the Chinese President in Africa reflects the colourful connection between China and Africa as a whole for President Jinping is also expected to attend the Sixth Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in which he will cement the relationship between China and Africa.

The visit of President Jinping will shame the prophets of doom concerning the mutual friendship of Zimbabwe and China. Pessimists blathering of the Zimbabwean Look East Policy have been put to shame for the official visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping will explore many political, social and economic opportunities for the citizens of Zimbabwe. Youth’s hopeful call has been perceived by the Asian ears for employment creation will be one of the fruits of the state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Zimbabwe. The Chinese President will be accompanied by energetic investors whom will fulfill the Mega Deals signed by President Mugabe in China during his state visit to China in 2014.

An investor conducive environment is in creation following the state visit of the Chinese President and his delegation. As noted in Xi Jinping`s speech of “Realize Youth Dreams“ when he said that “the sharpness of a sword results from repeated grinding, while the fragrance of plum blossoms comes from frigid weather.” So the exchanges of the state visits are not an anecdote but a fulfilment of the signatures signed by the two Head of States concerning the megadeals for the acceleration of the national economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).

The top Chinese companies are parastatals with consistence on policing, they will resolve the economy. His Excellence Xi Jinping did not distablise the status between Zimbabwe and China but seek to strengthen by finding new ways of cooperation. So the Chinese policy has been consistent for more than long and been beneficial to all parties involved. Taking a quick look at the Communication sector the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE is in conjunction with the local based Company G-Tel in producing latest cellphones and tablets. This business collaboration benefited all parties included for it paved way for a massive employment for Zimbabwean people.

The state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping will catch the attention of the international media for it will display Zimbabwe as an investor free country. Zimbabwe is politically stable and a peaceful country thus creating an atmosphere which is conducive for investors in Zimbabwe. A figure of political importance like Jinping gracing the Zimbabwean plateau will raise the eyebrows of international media which will be able to rewrite a positive story concerning Zimbabwe. This will go a long way in dismissing propaganda machinations and bad reporting that even went beyond the borders of subjectivity by tainting Zimbabwe an outpost of tyranny.

The Look East policy which was adopted by Zimbabwe is bearing fruits through some mutual cooperation between Zimbabwe and China. Even though the government of Zimbabwe stated in its foreign policy documents that the country is going to focus on a number of Asian countries like Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and China; China has proved to be the best friend among the aforementioned from bilateral trade to cultural ties.

His Excellency Xi Jinping is not an intrusive power man but one who sticks to his top class principles and standards. The Chinese President is a policy reformer par excellence but one who cannot be co toured by the Western countries but for the betterment of the global village. It will be an honour for the landlocked Zimbabwe to be grace by a world leader who is none other than the Chinese President Jinping.

Usually it is a typical custom that African leaders visit their counterparts in either the West or the East but tables has turned this time around as an Eastern leader visits Zimbabwe on his way to South Africa to the 6th FOCAC Summit. The Zimbabwe China relations are very promising for the future as youths are expected to join in the celebrations.

Tapiwa Bere and Takudzwanashe Mundenga are members of Zimbabwe-China Youth Forum. For comments and feedback reach them at: [email protected]

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