Updated February 10th, 2022 at 08:00 IST
Chinese firms face negative sentiment in Zimbabwe as they pose threat to natural resources
Studies suggest that Chinese firms in the African continent are posing threat to the interest of locals of Zimbabwe as there has been an increase in violations.
Recent studies have suggested that Chinese companies in the African continent are posing threat to the interest of locals of Zimbabwe as there has been an increase in human rights violations by Beijing investors in the areas, endowed with natural resources, especially mining sectors. According to a Canada-based think tank, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), the increasing presence of Chinese firms in the African continent is arousing waves of negative sentiments from several sections of the society.
IFFRAS reported that there is a sentiment that the relations between China and Zimbabwe deepened and expanded massively after Zimbabwe adopted the “Look East Policy” in the last decade. Citing empirical studies, the think tank suggested that following Zimbabwe's adoption of the policy, there has been an increase in human rights violations by Chinese companies in areas of the African nation, endowed with natural resources, especially the mining sector.
Chinese firms 'looting, displacing citizens'
As per IFFRAS, recently a group of 27 Zimbabwe-based Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) issued a communique titled -- “Civil Society Statement on Chinese Investments in Zimbabwe: Communities' Sentiments should be respected", criticising the operations of Chinese companies in the nation. CSOs charged that the Chinese firms were “looting” Zimbabwean resources, “displacing citizens” from their homes as they embark on various business projects in the country. The organisations also went on to name the Chinese companies.
CSOs stated that Chinese firm “Anjin Mining” has not paid its taxes. The organisations also blamed “Freestone Mines” for not conducting environmental impact assessments to gauge the damage it has done to the environment. The CSOs demanded that the Zimbabwean government must engage China and Chinese investors for being socially irresponsible, violating human rights, and illegally extracting natural resources of the country.
According to IFFRAS, CSOs statement came in the backdrop of an order issued by a Chinese company serving a three-month notice to villagers in the Binga to leave their ancestral land after the miner was granted permission to extract coal in the region. Moreover, the CSOs-led by the Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG) highlighted the low levels of governance led by Chinese investors and urged the government and the media to take the Chinese firms to task. As per IFFRAS, the Chinese investments in Zimbabwe and the African continent, in general, have surged due to the ‘Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which a slew of infrastructure projects unleashed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
Published February 10th, 2022 at 08:00 IST