WORLD China says 'friendly policy' toward Zimbabwe won't change

WORLD

China says 'friendly policy' toward Zimbabwe won't change

Ben Blanchard | Reuters

07:38, November 17, 2017

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A street vendor reads a newspaper in central Harare, Zimbabwe, November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo       Photo: Reuters

China said on Thursday its "friendly policy" toward Zimbabwe would not change, after the military said it had seized power and was holding President Robert Mugabe and his family safe while targeting "criminals".

China is paying close attention to the situation in Zimbabwe and hopes for stability and a peaceful, "appropriate" resolution, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

China's cooperation with Zimbabwe was "all round" and benefited both peoples, he added.

"China's friendly policy towards Zimbabwe won't change. We will continue to develop friendly cooperation with Zimbabwe on an equal, mutually beneficial win-win cooperation principle," Geng said, without elaborating.

Influential, state-run, the Global Times said in an editorial on Thursday that Zimbabwe was unlikely to reverse its relations with China.

"Since Zimbabwe's independence, there has been no anti-China faction in the country, and it is unlikely to appear in the future," it said.

In contrast to his elevated status on the continent, Mugabe is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa's most promising states.

China and Zimbabwe have a close diplomatic and economic relationship and Beijing has stood with Mugabe's government in the face of Western economic sanctions, investing in auto, diamond, tobacco and power-station projects.

BAIC Motor Corp Ltd (1958.HK), which has a joint venture making pick-up trucks in Zimbabwe, told Reuters there had been no impact on its operations.

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