China urges West to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe

08:15, February 12, 2011      

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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Friday called on the West to lift sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe while Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe applauded the Asian giant for its continued political and economic support.

Addressing journalists soon after meeting Zimbabwe President Mugabe, Yang, who is on a two-day visit, said Zimbabweans and other African people have a right to choose their own development path.

"We believe there should be the lifting of sanctions by certain countries. We think that is the voice of the Zimbabwean people and that is also the view of all the parties concerned here in Zimbabwe," Yang said, adding that no country has a right to dictate to another.

"We believe all nations should respect each others sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.

"China believes that Africans have the right to choose their own way of development as they are the masters of the African continent. All others are just guests," he said.

Yang said that China appreciates assistance from Africa and would also continue to reciprocate the support.

Addressing the Chinese delegation earlier, Zimbabwean President Mugabe said the West continues to persecute Zimbabwe through sanctions for the decision the county took to empower its people through land.

He said the imposition of sanctions was despite the fact that Zimbabwe and Britain had agreed that the former would redistribute the land while the latter would compensate affected farmers.

"The Western countries have imposed sanctions on us for taking our land although we had discussed this in 1979. That is what started the problem," Mugabe said.

Mugabe said Britain had since turned to political reasons such as human rights, democracy and rule of law to justify continued sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

He applauded continued cooperation between China and Zimbabwe which dates back to the struggle for independence.

Meanwhile, China extended a 50 million yuan (7.5 million U.S. dollars) grant to Zimbabwe.

Yang and his Zimbabwean counterpart Simbarashe Mumbengegwi signed the agreement on behalf of their countries.

In his meeting with Mumbengegwi, Yang who described Zimbabwe as a "brother" said the two countries had identified areas for further cooperation such as infrastructure, agriculture, water conversation and personnel training.

Source: Xinhua
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