The Zimbabwean delegation to the World Economic Forum in China which was led by Deputy Prime Minster Professor Arthur Mutambara received a red carpet welcome from the Chinese government which has been Zimbabwe’s all weather friend from the days of the liberation struggle.
Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa says this was contrary to what transpired when Prime Minster Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai visited the West with some ZANU PF members as part of his delegation.
Unlike China, the US barred ZANU PF members from entering the meetings which the Prime Minister held with the US president Barack Obama and members of the US Congress.
“We had a fruitful visit and received a warm welcome from our Chinese friends. Even Professor Arthur Mutambara whose party does not have any historical ties with China was given the honor befitting of the office he holds,” said ambassador Mutsvangwa.
He noted that there are several business opportunities which were explored and Chinese businessmen are keen to forge smart partnerships with their Zimbabwean counterparts in the financial services sector.
“The Chinese are keen on investing in the financial services sector and if the government sets up a delegation China is keen to host the delegation,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Professor Mutambara met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and government officials on his recent trip to China, a clear indication of a China’s progressive foreign policy, compared to the US approach which refuses to acknowledge ZANU PF as a partner in the inclusive government.
What Mutsvangwa fails to state is the fact that Mutambara was on a State visit, for the inlcusive government and Tsvangirai received a full gaurd of honour in Berlin.
As a former ambassador, Mutsvangwa also fails to inform the public that across the Global powers, there is a difference in protocol when it comes to receiving foreign leaders. Zanu PF went to town attacking United States President Barack Obama for refusing entry into the White Hpuse of a Zanu PF minister amongst the delegation.
China will come on our terms as partners," Mutambara said during a trip to China to attend the World Economic Forum in the northeastern Chinese port city of Dalian.
"We want to manufacture cars with China in Zimbabwe. We want to manufacture computers with China in Zimbabwe."
"China has a lot of capital," he said. "We want them to capitalize our banks so we can invest in agriculture."
Mutambara said Zimbabwe was in talks with Chinese companies on potential manufacturing projects, but he gave no details.
While Beijing has shown more support for Zimbabwe’s government than Western powers, Chinese investors have remained skittish about investing amid the recent unbridled inflation and political turmoil.
Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change in February formed a brittle coalition administration with President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF to end a long-running political crisis and a decade of economic ruin.
As he became a pariah in the West, Mugabe has tried to boost economic ties with Asian countries, especially China.
Beijing and Chinese companies have pledged tens of billions of dollars to Africa in loans and investments, mostly to secure raw materials for the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
China’s trade with the continent has jumped by an average 30 percent a year this decade, reaching nearly $107 billion in 2008.
Tsvangirai said earlier this year that Zimbabwe had secured $950 million in credit from China to help rebuild its economy, but the Zimbabwe Finance Minister later said no such agreement had been reached.