Zimbabweans favor China over Japan on aid

By Chen Boyuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 15, 2016
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Ignatius Chombo, the secretary of administration of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) takes questions from the press in Chongqing on Oct. 13 during the CPC in Dialogue with the World 2016. [Photo by Chen Boyuan / China.org.cn]

Zimbabweans see clearly that China and the Chinese people are their true friends and are grateful for the decades of aid programs China has provided, Ignatius Chombo, the Secretary of Administration of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu PF), said recently during a visit to China.

Chombo made the remarks on Thursday in Chongqing to clarify a recent allegation that Chinese aid programs, including Chinese aid workers, in Africa are losing popularity to Japanese programs, mainly because Chinese companies invested in Africa "paid little attention to creating local jobs" and Chinese aid workers were not as meticulous as their Japanese counterpart in terms of providing humanitarian care.

This allegation seems to stem from so-called new colonialism allegations that seek to incite an anti-China resentment in Africa.

But Chombo took the chance to clarify that the Zimbabwean people do not look at the matter in this way, saying that Zimbabwe's colonial history made its people able to easily tell who the real colonizers are.

"Zimbabwe was colonized by Britain for more than 100 years so we don't want to be colonized by any other country; one [colonial] country was enough. We fought for 50 years for independence. The people who came to our side with assistance were Chinese, not Japanese or Americans," said Chombo. "Those Western countries were on the other side, with those we were fighting against." Chombo pointed out that Japan only came to aid Zimbabwe and other African countries in recent years, whereas China started to help Africa even when it was a poverty-stricken country itself. It means that the time-tested rapport between China and Africa is immune to ill-intentioned allegations.

"Japan came to help Africa in order to entice Africans to vote for Japan in the UN. That's not what we are after; we are after harmonious relations like those between China and Zimbabwe," said Chombo, whose office amounts to an acting party chief under the presidency of Robert Mugabe.

Japan's aggression during the World War II is another reason why many African people still loathe Japan. "Japan attacked several countries, including China during the World War II, so that it was once an aggressor." He added.

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