Clarity on sale of Fighter Jets by China to Zimbabwe

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO 9: TRANSFER OF WRITTEN QUESTION NO 384 - PUBLISHED IN THE INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 8 OF 06 AUGUST 2004

QUESTION TIME: 08 SEPTEMBER 2004


MR DHM GIBSON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
(1) Whether, in the light of a certain media report on 10 June 2004 indicating that China has sold fighter jets to the value of $240 million to Zimbabwe, in an apparent violation of an undertaking given to her by the Chinese government that it would refrain from selling arms to the southern African countries, the Government has sought clarity on the reported sale from the governments of China and Zimbabwe respectively; if not, why not; if so, what specific assurances have been given by the two respective governments in this regard;

(2) whether the Government is concerned about expanding Chinese arms sales in the southern African region; if not, why not; if so, what steps is the Government taking to address the matter;

(3) whether the Government is concerned that there is an arms race emerging in southern Africa; if not, what factors were taken into consideration in reaching this conclusion; if so, what action does it intend taking in this regard;

(4) whether the Government has taken any steps to ensure that South Africa and its Southern African neighbours adhere to a request made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1998 to restrict defence expenditure to 1,5% of GDP; if not, why not; if so, what steps have been taken in this regard? N454E

REPLY:

(1) & (2) The department has no official information from the respective Governments of Zimbabwe and China regarding the purchasing of fighter jets. This is a bilateral matter between Zimbabwe and China.

(3) & (4) The request by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1998 for South
Africa and its Southern African neighbours to restrict defence expenditure to 1,5% of their GDP's, does not fall within the competency of the South African government. This is a matter to be followed up by the UN as the body, which issued the request. End



 

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa