Zim hails Chinese military efforts to bring peace and development
Harare (New Ziana) -The military plays an important role in providing conducive environments for peace and socio-economic development, a cabinet minister has said.
Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said this at a function to mark the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army which was held in the capital on Wednesday.
Muchinguri-Kashiri, who was represented by the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities, Daniel Garwe, said China was able to attain social, political and economic development because of a strong military.
She said Zimbabwe and China established a strong bond since the days of the liberation struggle and it is difficult to break the relationship.
“Zimbabwe has been associated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army from the time of the liberation struggle which ushered in our independence in 1980,” she said.
“We continue to do so today, and in the future, as we are both faced with geo-political threats that seek to destabilise our peaceful nations.”
Muchinguri-Kashiri urged the Chinese army to remain resolute in their honorous role of defending its country’s sovereignty and that of other vulnerable nations.
She noted with appreciation the role played by the Chinese army in the United Nations peace keeping missions in Africa, notably in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali and Sudan among others, saying such operations were key in combating contemporary threats.
“Zimbabwe Defence Forces have carried out similar duties in such countries as Sudan and Somalia among many others,” said Muchinguri Kashiri.
She also noted that military operations other than war have also been carried out by the PLA to protect humanity from different kinds of disasters, among them, the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My Ministry through the support of the Head of State and Government and Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, His Excellency, Dr E.D Mnangagwa, continues to work closely with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in various areas of cooperation as we build our nations brick by brick, stone by stone, said the defence minister.
She said the armies cooperate in areas such as training, medical and research and development among others.
Speaking at the same event, Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhou Ding said in the few months that he has been in the country following his posting, he has witnessed unrelenting efforts by the host country to boost its economy.
“Most importantly, I have witnessed the renewed vigour and vitality of our traditional friendship,” he said.
Zhou singled out the Kariba south Power Station and Hwange Power Station which his government funded as having brightened up millions of Zimbabwean households.
He added that the commissioning of the new Robert Mugabe International Airport terminal was also uplifted with funding from the Chinese, was turning Zimbabwe into a major aviation hub in Southern Africa.
“Thousands of boreholes across Zimbabwe, aided by China, are providing hundreds of thousands of people with easy access to clean and safe drinking water.
“The Chinese Government’s emergency food assistance to Zimbabwe has brought hope and smiles to numerous people and various vulnerable communities,” he recounted.
Zhou cited many other programs that his country instituted for the benefit of Zimbabwe, among them, the Chinese medical team which has worked for 38 years to bring relief to local patients, the Chinese private sector’s investment in lithium industry which has helped Zimbabwe to become a significant part of global new energy supply chain, among others.