China speaks on evacuation of nationals from Zimbabwe

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THE Chinese Embassy in Harare has clarified its recent decision to facilitate the return of some of its nationals to the Asian nation.

Social media platforms were a few days ago awash with claims that China is evacuating its nationals in the face of increasing COVID-19 cases.

Chinese top envoy to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Ambassador Guo Shaochun has however clarified that his principals made arrangements for those who fall in the high-risk category to be chartered back home.

“We chartered a plane to take some Chinese citizens that we felt were vulnerable those above sixty years of age and school-going children who are going to resume their studies in China. We think the Zimbabwean government has done a marvellous job in preparing for the pandemic just that the disease is a new phenomenon and no one really knows how it is mutating. The evacuation of Chinese nationals is not only being done in Zimbabwe but in several countries, since the disease is now receding in China,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to COVID-19, which explains China’s decision.

Ambassador Guo also spoke on the need for Chinese businesses operating in Zimbabwe to operate within the confines of local laws.

This comes after last month’s shooting incident by a Chinese national at Reeden Mine in Gweru.

“We have made it clear that the shooter should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The isolated incident must not affect the good relations between Zimbabwe and China. We have proposed to the Zimbabwean government that there should be a law to govern operations in the mining sector, we are here not to exploit the resources of this country, our relationship is mutually beneficial,” he explained.

Zimbabwe and China share cordial relations, with Chinese companies operating locally having invested over five hundred thousand US dollars for the rehabilitation of Wilkins Hospital which is one of the main isolation and treatment centres for COVID-19.-Herald

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