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Don't damage environment, Chinese mines in Zim told

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Harare – The visiting vice premier Wang Yang on Wednesday urged Chinese companies to practice responsible mining so as not to damage the environment.

The premier, who is on a visit to the country, was addressing a press conference here, which was also attended by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Deputy Mines Minister, Gift Chimanikire said this week that there was a lot of illegal mining by the Chinese, which was cuasing a lot of enivronmental damage.

Among the Chinese companies officially licenced to mine in Zimbabwe, is Anjin Investments, one of the biggest diamond mining company in Marange.

Yang also bemonaed the adverse impact of Chinese economic and population growth on Chinese ecology.

The cost of environmental degradation in China was about $230 billion in 2010, or 3.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product — three times that in 2004, in local currency terms according to recent news reports.

The statistic came from a study by the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, which is part of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

The figure of $230 billion was based on costs arising from pollution and damage to the ecosystem, the price that China is paying for its rapid industrialisation.

Yang also pledged more financial support to Zimbabwe, although the figure was not disclosed.

Zimbabwe is currently in negotiations to access credit lines with among others China Eximbank and China Development Bank.

China has become one of Zimbabwe’s trading partners after South Africa.

Yang also congratulated Zimbabwe on the new constitution, signed into law, by President Robert Mugabe.

The Chinese Vice-Premier said political stability was the best form of protecting the investment.

Yang arrived in Zimbabwe on Tuesday as part of his official trip to Africa to review trade and development ties.

The Chinese premier is the third ranking among China’s four vice-premiers in President Xi Jinping’s communist party.

Mugabe who has faced travel bans to the West for poor human rights record in the past decade, turned to the “Look East” policy toward China and Asian nations to attract the much needed investment.

Yang is expected to travel to Ethiopia later this week.

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