South African Government Information
regarding the Order for Chinese Jet Fighters by Zimbabwe
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO 253
PUBLISHED IN THE INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 5 OF 18
MR LK JOUBERT TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
Whether the Government has been in contact with the
governments of Zimbabwe and China regarding Zimbabwe's
order for jet fighters to the value of more than $200m
from China; if not, what is the position in this regard;
if so, what are the relevant details? N288E
The Government has had no information from the governments
of Zimbabwe and China regarding Zimbabwe's order for
jet fighters to the value of more than $200 million
The position in this regard is that this is a bilateral
matter between Zimbabwe and China.
- The relevant details are that the Daily Mirror
of Zimbabwe published on 20040609 reported that the
Zimbabwe Defence Force has purchased 12 military aircraft
and 100 vehicles from China, and plans were underway
to acquire an undisclosed number of fighter jets.
- This announcement was made by the Permanent Secretary
for Defence when he presented the first quarter budget
report before the Parliamentary Committee of Defence
and Home Affairs. The Permanent Secretary did not
disclose the financial implications of the transaction.
He said that the commander of the Air Force would
be able to provide this information.
- Meanwhile in Pretoria, the Chinese Ambassador at
a press conference was asked whether China intended
selling jet fighter planes to Zimbabwe. The Ambassador
responded by saying that there was no truth to this
story and that China has demanded an apology from
the Harare newspaper which first published the story.
He further said that China has a responsible policy
towards Africa and would not contribute to arms proliferation.