Interview: China's stabilizing role in UN helping to spur global peace, development: Zimbabwean scholar

Source: Xinhua| 2021-10-27 02:14:35|Editor: huaxia

by Gretinah Machingura and Zhang Yuliang

HARARE, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- China has contributed immensely to global stability, peace and development since the restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations 50 years ago, a Zimbabwean governance expert has said.

In particular, China's re-admission into the UN brought a stabilizing force and positive influence to the management of global affairs, Tawanda Zinyama, Chairman of the Department of Governance and Public Management at the University of Zimbabwe, told Xinhua on Monday.

"The major role that China plays, especially in the UN, is that it plays a key stabilizing role and this role is very fundamental," he said.

"China's presence in the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) is very critical and visible in terms of balancing (of power) and in terms of using its veto powers. For example in 2008, Zimbabwe was before the UNSC and they (Britain and its Western allies) wanted to militarily intervene and therefore interfere with our domestic internal affairs but China together with Russia came on board," Zinyama said.

Zinyama said China's hand in advancing global peace and security was visible and growing, especially in Africa and other developing continents where it has contributed a large contingent of troops to UN peacekeeping missions.

This is important as it has enabled socio-economic development in the world. China should also continue to strengthen Africa's peacekeeping infrastructure to enhance its economic development that would in turn benefit China, Zinyama said.

China's multilateralism approach to global governance is fundamental and this has seen it playing a key role in the UNSC and in terms of influencing global affairs.

"China believes in democracy and international relations. It does not believe in one nation dominating and in my view that is very important," Zinyama said.

He said China and Africa participate in the UN as one team to push for a UN structure that delivers security, peace and development in the world and the two sides' win-win cooperation is helping to advance not only Africa's but global socio-economic development.

"China does not put stringent conditions when it lends to Africa. China does not interfere with how our governments in Africa are run because Africa is also an independent continent with independent nations and China respects that. As a result, China is for socio-economic development," he said.

Zinyama said China should continue to play that stabilizing role in the UN to ensure weaker nations get an equal opportunity to air their voice on the developmental trajectory that they want.

"China should also continue to promote Africa in terms of knowledge transfer. We need the necessary technological know-how, how to industrialize and even assist us to come up with a viable development model," he said.

Africa's development was intertwined with China, given that the foundation of cooperation between the two sides started during the time of the liberation struggle of many African countries.

"The majority of African countries received financial, human, moral and equipment support from the Chinese people," he said.

Priority areas for China-Africa cooperation with the UN framework include the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic so that Africa can quickly recover from the effects of the pandemic, peacebuilding and maintenance, skills transfer and access to value chains, Zinyama said.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had become important platforms to galvanize China-Africa economic ties, Zinyama said.

He said allegations about Africa falling into China's debt trap are baseless and should not distract the two sides from forging ahead with their win-win cooperation.

"There are a lot of projects (being funded by China in Africa) that are making significant impact socially, economically and technologically so there is no controversy, but the controversy comes from China's competitors amongst them the United States that now feels threatened by China which is now occupying a bigger space in Africa," Zinyama said.

As China celebrates the 50th anniversary of the restoration of its lawful seat in the UN on Oct. 25, Zimbabwe is also marking the SADC anti-sanctions day which was proclaimed in 2019 at the SADC heads of state and governments summit.

On that day, the whole region collectively makes a call for the unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West in the early 2000s.

"We are looking up to China and other countries like Russia to assist us and we are very grateful that they continue to push for the lifting of the sanctions," Zinyama said.

A United Nations Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Alena Douhan, is currently in Zimbabwe to assess the impact of the sanctions on the country.

Zinyama said the presence of the UN special envoy is critical as it affords the UN an opportunity to comprehensively document the negative impact of the sanctions on ordinary Zimbabweans.

"The sanctions must definitely go. We want to enjoy development but we can't enjoy development with these sanctions," he said. Enditem

KEY WORDS: Zimbabwe,China,UN