HARARE - The China-Zimbabwe relationship is viewed by many as bad because China is said to be enjoying unfair advantages but the giant Asian state has business ethics, acting ambassador Zhao Baogang has said.
He said this during a recent Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and University of Zimbabwe (UZ)’s Faculty of Industry and Commerce business symposium in the capital.
Ambassador Zhao Baogang said Zimbabwe had faced many challenges for a long time, adding that he hoped the new government will turn things around.
“China saw an opportunity in Zimbabwe and we appreciate our working ethics. We don’t support corruption and we don’t implement policies in the same manner that Zimbabwe does. In China, we first put them (policies) on trial and implement only if they are acceptable,” said Baogang.
He criticised the country’s so-called special economic zones, saying those were only pieces of land with no requisite infrastructure to support their apportioned status.
“We were told of a special economic zone in one part of Harare but the place has no roads, no water, neither is there electricity and you call that a special economic zone. You need to be more serious and transparent,” he said.
One of the participants, Dr Joseph Kanyekanye criticised the ‘Look East’ policy which he said had not benefitted the country since its adoption in the wake of the Land Reform Programme.
“In Zimbabwe we have a syndrome which I have decided to call a slow and stop syndrome. We are not able not move with speed even to create one thing of our own. Accountability and transparency is one subject for which I ask the Parliament of Zimbabwe to play its oversight role with due diligence,” Kanyekanye said.
He said Zimbabwe had nobody but itself to blame for failing to exploit its relationship with China to retool its industry and grow its economy.
China stands accused of taking unfair advantage of Zimabwe and the rest of Africa to loot natural resources through many ways including unfair trade deals, exploitative labour practices and the dumping of poor quality products.