The Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe on Tuesday dismissed as false
media reports claiming that China has withdrawn all assistance
except humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe.
A spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy said contrary to the
reports, Zimbabwe and China share a long history of friendship and
have cooperation agreements in various fields which include
agriculture, education, health, and science and technology.
"Recently, some media published reports claiming that China was
dropping all assistance except humanitarian aid to Zimbabwe. The
Embassy of China in Zimbabwe wishes to clarify that this is simply
not the fact," said the spokesperson.
Britain's Daily Telegraph carried the claims in its
edition of Aug 31, 2007, in which it quoted Foreign Office Minister
Malloch Brown as saying he had been told by China last Thursday
during his visit to that country that it had stopped all aid except
humanitarian to Zimbabwe.
The newspaper said the move followed a decision by China, a
permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to work
more closely with the international community in bringing pressure
to bear on states perceived bad by the West.
"It represents a major shift in its previous policy of refusing
to attack the internal polices of long standing allies," Brown was
quoted as saying.
"I was told that China's assistance to Zimbabwe is now limited
to humanitarian assistance which is enormously important. That puts
it in the same position as Britain, which is the second biggest
provider of humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe," Brown said on his
first visit since becoming minister for Asia-Africa and the UN.
The Chinese Embassy spokesperson said China has been providing
assistance in many forms including humanitarian aid, grants and
loans of credit to Zimbabwe and its people.
The spokesperson added that apart from assistance promised to
Zimbabwe during the visit by Chinese Communist Party top official,
Jia Qinglin, in April, the two governments had
also concluded negotiations for China to supply Zimbabwe with 4,000
tons of soybeans.
"During the visit by Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference, to Zimbabwe this April, China promised to help build
two primary schools, one hospital and an Agriculture Technology
Demonstration Center in Zimbabwe. In addition, China granted fund
to renovate the National Sports Stadium of Zimbabwe," the
China has in recent years also emerged as the biggest buyer of
Zimbabwe's tobacco as trade and bilateral relations between the two
countries continue to grow.
(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2007)