Opposition cannot be left in the dark about Nam-Sino relations: Yiming

11 Feb 2019 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 FEB (NAMPA) – With Namibia and China sharing an elevated partnership, it is imperative that key players in Namibia’s political arena, such as the official opposition, are abreast regarding all agreements the government enters into with China.
These were the comments of Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, shortly after he held a meeting behind closed-doors with the leader of the official opposition, McHenry Venaani at Parliament on Monday.
The ambassador said engaging the opposition is part of the Chinese foreign policy, that of non-interference in another country’s affairs.
“I also took this opportunity to brief Mr. Venaani about the current development, the comprehensive strategic partnership cooperation (our) relationship with Namibia. I think its very important for opposition party leaders to understand what we are doing here to support Namibia,” Yiming said.
As such, China and Namibia cannot operate under the veil of secrecy as it has no hidden agenda, he said.
Yiming and the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president discussed among other things, the prospect of exporting Namibian beef to China and agricultural modernization.
He briefed Venaani on President Hage Geingob’s visits to China in 2018, particularly Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
Briefing the media on the outcome of the 80-minute long meeting, Venaani called for the restructuring of Chinese loans to African countries, as in their current format, the loans are to the detriment of Africa, giving Zambia as a reference point.
“We don’t want to see a situation where loans that you are loaning around the world are linked to our natural assets because we have a generation that we need to bequeath the future of our country tomorrow,” Venaani said.
He added: “You are taking our resources from our shores, take them to China…they are not creating benefits because we need to bring in beneficiation. I raised this issue. He was very uncomfortable with it but I raised it candidly that we can’t afford to see more and more trade volumes going to China but those volumes do not address the bread and butter issues of our country.”
It was reported last year that the government intends to borrow at least N. dollars 10 billion from China in the next five years to fund state projects.