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CHINESE nationals living in Zimbabwe have formed an association aimed at protecting their business and social interests in the country.

The so-called Chinese Federation of Zimbabwe was launched Monday at Harare’s Rainbow Towers, drawing dozens of Chinese immigrants living and doing business in Zimbabwe.

The association will also be assisting prospective business people from the Asian country to know more about Zimbabwean laws and to point out profitable businesses.

In a speech read on her behalf by local government minister Ignatius Chombo, Vice President Joice Mujuru said the Zimbabwean government has always held ger relations with the less meddlesome economic giant.

Mujuru was quick to aise the Asians to observe labour laws and professional standards.

“I therefore encourage this federation to work very closely with various arms of government dealing with investments, rules and regulations, governing various economic ethics and professional standards, product quality control and standards, labour laws to mention just a few,” she said.

Mujuru also said the Zimbabwean government will strive to protect local Chinese interests and further thanked China for standing firmly by Zimbabwe on the international arena.

“It was China and other countries Russia, Cuba and Yugoslavia, just to mention a few of the non-African countries, that supported the liberation struggle,” Mujuru said.

“It goes without saying therefore that a person who helps you liberate yourself is a helpful friend indeed.”

Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Lin Lin, said Chinese nationals living in Zimbabwe were generally a reserved lot that also respect the country’s laws.

“The Chinese embassy here has always urged Chinese Enterprises and citizens to abide by local laws and regulations, respect religious cultural traditions and customs,” he said.

“I am sure most of the Chinese people in Zimbabwe are complying with the local laws.”

Former cabinet minister Fay Chung, a conspicuous figure among Chinese nationals who thronged the launch ceremony, said there were about 10,000 Chinese migrants who have found a permanent home in Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe’s government has, since its fallout with the West just after the turn of the century, had a soft spot with China.

Mugabe is thankful to the Asian country for providing supports when the West had ditched his government over a violent land grab and poll fraud.

China is credited to bankrolling the Zanu PF re-election campaign that saw the liberation movement restore its yesteryear dominance in parliament.

Source : New Zimbabwe