Liu Guijin on China’s Role in Zimbabwe

Liu Guijin, China’s top envoy to Africa, is quoted in several news outlets with comments on China’s position toward the current situation in Zimbabwe:

From Xinhua:

China supports the mediation efforts taken by the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to try to resolve the Zimbabwe issue, Chinese special envoy Liu Guijin said Tuesday.

    Liu, China’s Special Envoy on African Affairs, made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the high-level segment of the UN Economic and Social Council, which opened here Monday.

    “We hope that the stakeholders in Zimbabwe” — the ruling party, the opposition and other relevant political force — could “work together and make further efforts to stabilize the volatile situation there,” Liu said.

[…]

“We hope that the situation there in Zimbabwe could be addressed and the relevant stakeholders … with the assistance of the regional countries of the African Union and the international Community” could find a proper solution, he said.

From Bloomberg

Liu Guijin […] said his government would take its cue from the African Union and Southern African Development Community. “It’s an African problem,” Liu said.

From Xinhua

“We think the issues concerning Zimbabwe should only be resolved by the Zimbabwean people and the international community could play a constructive role by promoting dialogue and reconciliation,” Liu said.

From Reuters:

Liu did not say whether China was prepared to use its veto power on the U.N. Security Council to block a U.S. draft resolution outlining U.N. sanctions against Zimbabwe.

“That is a pre-judgment,” he said in response to a question about a possible Chinese veto. He did not elaborate.

From the Financial Times:

A senior Chinese official on Tuesday defended his country’s aid to African states such as Zimbabwe and Sudan, underscoring Beijing’s resistance to imposing international sanctions in response to Harare’s alleged violations of human rights.

Liu Guijin […] said: “We don’t attach political conditions [to aid]. We have to realise the political and economic environments are not ideal. But we don’t have to wait for everything to be satisfactory or human rights to be perfect.” […]

He said that due to existing embargoes and sanctions “people are suffering there”.

[Liu Guijin also] said: “While we are not satisfied with the environment in many developing countries, we don’t have to wait [for it] to be perfect.” He said that a century ago no traditional western donor would have met its own current criteria for granting aid to the developing world.

He said China’s aid policy was aimed at a win-win situation in which both it and the aid recipients would benefit. That strategy lay behind its investments in infrastructure and mineral exploitation in Africa and elsewhere.

July 1, 2008 4:51 PM