We publish below the response by the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe to remarks made by the newly-nominated US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Pamela M. Tremont, regarding her new role and Sino-Zim relations
Q1: On 1 March, the US Senate Committee held a nomination hearing for Ms Pamela M. Tremont, the nominee for the US ambassador to Zimbabwe. What is your comment?
A: We noticed the nomination hearing for Ms Tremont from social media. The US senators and government officials wantonly discussed Zimbabwe’s internal affairs and even smeared China-Zimbabwe cooperation.
I want to challenge them, “Who gives them the right to point fingers at other countries’ diplomatic relations?” The US’ old habit never changes.
We strongly suggest that US politicians study the word, “respect”, and respect Zimbabwe’s independence and sovereignty, respect the African countries and African people, and respect the normal cooperation between Zimbabwe and other countries.
Zimbabwe has the right to develop friendly relations with any other country without external influence or pressure.
Please remember, Zimbabwe should not be used as a battlefield for the US to counter China, and should not be used as a wrestling ground for major-country rivalry.
We believe that the Zimbabwe Government and its people will not allow this to happen in their territory.
China doesn’t care about or fear the so-called countering claims by the US since the US is now containing China across the world. But we urge the US not to drag Zimbabwe into its agenda, or make a mess in the continent of Africa.
The long-standing China-Zimbabwe friendship and China-Africa friendship are unbreakable.
Q2: During the hearing, Ms Tremont said the China-aid New Parliament Building “didn’t necessarily benefit Zimbabwean people”. What is your comment?
A: May I have a question? Is the US Capitol not serving the interests of the US people, and is it just benefiting the US congressmen and senators? If so, the US should stop its budget for maintaining and protecting the Capitol.
The US always advocates its model of “democracy”. Why does Zimbabwe not need a new parliament building to develop the nation’s democracy?
The China-aid New Parliament Building will benefit Zimbabwe and its people. Firstly, it is a landmark building demonstrating the national image and honour of Zimbabwe, which has a glorious history and splendid culture.
Every Zimbabwean will enjoy this pride and glory. Secondly, it will completely improve the working conditions for the members of parliament from different parties, supporting them to perform their duties and better serve their people.
Thirdly, it will bring a boom in infrastructure construction and commercial activities in the outskirts of Harare.
The Mount Hampden area is quite hopeful to be a modernized satellite city and eventually benefit the people.
Q3: Ms Tremont alleged that there was “little transparency in terms of the contracts” on the foreign direct investment in Zimbabwe’s mineral projects by China. What is your response?
A: China has been carrying out cooperation with Zimbabwe by focusing on the real and urgent needs of Zimbabwe. It is Zimbabwe’s to make decisions on what and whether to do it.
Every project of China-Zimbabwe cooperation and every Chinese investment is on the ground in Zimbabwe. All the Ministries of the Zimbabwean Government are there and keep track of all foreign investment and cooperation.
It’s easy to find out where the Chinese funds are used and what benefits are generated. This is the best transparency. If the US failed and even don’t want to find out the truth, it is not qualified to comment.
We noticed that the new ambassador alleged the US invested 4.5 billion USD in Zimbabwe. It is more than one-third of the foreign currency inflows of Zimbabwe for a whole year.
We are curious where the money went, what projects have been completed, what benefits have been brought to Zimbabwean people, and how much has been spent on “defending democratic space to improve the election system”.
We will be very glad to see more investments from the US in Zimbabwe, while what the US needs to do immediately is to lift all its illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe without any conditions and stop intervening in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.
If anyone wants to talk about competition, let’s compete on “Who contributes more to the development of Zimbabwe?” If anyone wants to counter something, let’s counter hegemonism and interference in other countries’ internal affairs.
We wish the newly appointed US ambassador could perform better than her predecessor and gain the trust of the Zimbabwean people.