China military assistance to Zim aligns with Global Security Initiative

Tichaona Zindoga

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Zhou Ding on December 11 handed over an assortment of military hardware to Zimbabwe worth US$28 million.

While this event had an important historical and geopolitical significance, as China and Zimbabwe are key partners since the former first gave liberation fighters training and arms to fight British colonialism resulting in Independence in 1980, a more contemporaneous view is that this aligns with the Global Security Initiative (GSI).

Among other principles, the GSI lays out a commitment to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and advocates respecting and safeguarding the security of every country, enhancing security governance in a holistic and coordinated way, committing to cooperation, and pursing sustainable security through sustainable development. It also sets out commitment to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.

The GSI upholds the principle of indivisible security, advocates a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture, and opposes the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security.

 Further, GSI lays out a framework for  for maintaining security in both traditional and nontraditional domains and advocates the principle of planning together, building together and benefiting together in global governance, and concerted efforts to address regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.

Since last year, the initiative has been accepted by 100 countries globally.

Zimbabwe faces a number of traditional and non-traditional threats to peace and security, including living next door to Mozambique where there have been incidence of terrorism in the north.

Zimbabwe participates in regional, continental and global peace missions and stands to benefit from retooling and upgrade from China.

Incidentally, during the unveiling of the assistance, President Mnangagwa thanked China and said Zimbabwe supported initiatives that foster global peace.

“Our country will continue to support all efforts to strengthen multi-lateralism and dialogue in global peace initiatives. We strongly oppose all forms of double standards, hegemonic tendencies and the undue interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states,” he said.

He also recognised the strong historical linkages between Zimbabwe and China through the Zimbabwe national Army and its sister institution, the People’s Liberation Army.

He said the two forces’ relations had strengthened.

“With regards to our partnership between our Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the People’s Liberation Army, I recall that in 2020, the ZDF received a donation of gratis medical equipment from China, for the VVIP and Military Referral Hospital under construction at the Manyame Air Force Base.

“Subsequently, the People’s Liberation Army, dispatched a technical team, led by Group Captain Geng Jie, to appreciate the structure and progress made to date. We are grateful for such a show of unwavering friendship,” he said.

Coincidentally,  last July, Ambassador Zhou officiated at the commeration of the 96th Anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army in Harare.

Ambassador Zhou said during the event that Zimbabwe and China will continue to join hands in safeguarding world peace and stability and he underscored that development relied on a peaceful and stable international environment.

He recounted that in April 2022, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative(GSI), which champions a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, follows the philosophy that humanity is an indivisible security community, and advocates a new security concept that emphasizes dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliance and win-win cooperation over zero-sum game.

“This Initiative provides China’s solution to international security challenges,” Ambassador Zhou said.

“Our brotherly friend Zimbabwe, shares the same position concerning the world security issues and stands among the first countries to support the GSI.”

“As H.E. President Mnangagwa said, in his letter to President Xi Jinping, ‘The GSI is timely for being an all-inclusive process that aims to uphold the values of the United Nations Charter through the development of consensus based mechanisms that respect the sovereignty of member states as well as the diversity of humankind’,” Ambassador Zhou said.

Leave a Reply