constantine chiwenga 08-08-11ed.pngZimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga has hailed the role played by China in thwarting attempts by Western countries to impose United Nations sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2008 as punishment for embarking on the land reform programme.

General Chiwenga was speaking at a dinner hosted for the Deputy Director of the People’s Liberation Army General Political Department, Admiral Tong Shipping in Harare Wednesday night.

General Chiwenga hailed the role played by China in assisting the country to fight for its independence.

He said the major objective of fighting the colonial system was to attain both political and economic independence yet when the country started empowering its people through land ownership, the West imposed illegal sanctions.

“However, the consoling developments were that China stood by us during the hour of need on 12th July 2008 at the UN Security Council meeting when she exercised her veto powers against the imposition of UN sanctions against Zimbabwe under the sinister Chapter Seven which has been used to abuse smaller and weaker nations endowed with resources,“ he said.

Admiral Tong Shipping reiterated the need for the two countries to continue maintaining the existing excellent relationship.

“We should maintain this good relationship which dates back to the colonial era in Zimbabwe,” said the Admiral.

Among some of the earliest cadres trained in China at the School of Ideology in Peking (now Beijing) were the late General Josiah Tongogara and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

China has continued supporting Zimbabwe at international fora, while Zimbabwe also supports the One China-Two Systems policy.

Among those who attended the dinner were Commander of Zimbabwe National Army, Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda and Commander of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, Air Marshal Perence Shiri.