China spends $2,5 BILLION ON ZIMBABWE
China has spent $2,5 billion on Zimbabwe, which is by far the highest amount of money it has ever advanced to any African country.
Speaking at the 2019 Spring Festival Gala held in Harare on Sunday, charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy, Zhao Baogang, said the money has been advanced to the country through loans and investments, among other issues.
“In one word, some $2,5 billion (US dollars) of loans, investments and grants have been provided by the Chinese government, financial institutions and enterprises to Zimbabwe, much larger share than most other African countries,” Baogang said.
China has been one of the country’s biggest partners since the turn of the millennium when the government took a look east approach — after being isolated by Western nations over human rights abuses — even though the relationship dates back to the time of the liberation struggle.
Over the years, China has been investing in different sectors of the economy in Zimbabwe including the energy sector.
“Kariba South Expansion Project has been completed, adding 300MW power generation capacity to national grid. We have launched ground-breaking ceremony for the Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project. We have launched ground-breaking ceremony for the Harare International Airport rehabilitation project. We have launched ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of new Parliament building project.
“Zimbabwe will have the capacity to export electricity to earn the much needed hard currency very soon. We work, cook with the electricity from Kariba South Expansion project financed by China Exim bank. Everyone is closely connected with China-Zimbabwe cooperation.
“So I want to say that we have to pay more attention to China’s development and try to find the opportunities for cooperation, the secrets and resources for Zimbabwe’s development can be found in China,” Baogang said.
Baogang also said in the coming years, China will import $24 trillion worth of goods and invest $750 billion in foreign countries, including Zimbabwe.
The charge d’affaires further said last year, China made great achievements in cooperating with developing countries at the Beijing summit of the forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
“In 2018, here Zimbabwe has gone through ups and downs and withstood the hardships. Every country has its own problems and headaches. No country has a smooth journey of national development and Rome was not built in a day. Let’s be patient and give the development a chance.”
Zimbabwe has been reeling under economic sanctions since the early 2000s after embarking on a fast-track land reform programme. Over the past few months, several countries in the region have been calling for the removal of sanctions, claiming it is hindering economic growth.
Baogang further said China is fully behind the call for the West to remove sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“We strongly support Zimbabwe’s demand to remove the sanctions. China sought to promote a more equitable and fair system of global governance. In a turbulent world, China emerged as a pillar of stability,” Baogang said.
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