HARARE, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe' s Zanu-PF party has rebuffed Western media's assertions that China is not a true friend of Africa but one that is bent on exploiting its vast natural resources.
Party national chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo told Xinhua on Wednesday that China's relations with Africa were founded on mutual trust, equality and a win-win situation.
"Those Western countries criticizing the relations know that China is a powerful nation which is about to overtake the United States as the world's economic power," he said.
"The West is going to China more often than other countries so China is a giant and that's why they want to castigate it."
As Zimbabwe and Africa develop their relations with China, there has been Western criticism of China's sincerity -- that its growing economic interest in Africa is based on a search for raw materials to power its economy.
But Khaya-Moyo said Sino-Africa ties started many years ago and had continued to develop and blossom over the years. "We are obviously working together as free nations," he said.
China had not imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe was reaping more rewards from its "Look East" policy adopted in 2003, he said.
The Zanu-PF party chairman expressed confidence in the future of China-Africa and China-Zimbabwe relations, saying these will continue to be excellent, cordial and friendly.
"We shall do more and more together. We want more investment to pour in from China and for Zimbabweans to do more business with China," he said.
Describing the relations as cordial, Khaya-Moyo said Zimbabwe was happy and proud of its growing relations with China.
Zanu-PF legislator and Agriculture and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made said Zimbabwe was a sovereign nation which was free to choose its friends.
He said it was not proper for Zimbabwe and Africa's erstwhile colonizers to dictate to them who to associate with.
"I think the choice for friendship is free. You want us to forget those who assisted us to have the right to self determination? Can the Western colonizers choose our friends? No," said Made.
He said the Western media claims were false accusations against the Asian country which was now helping African economies to grow.
"If this is true they should leave that to our own devices. We are adults and we will make our own choices."
Made said Zimbabwe was in need of sincere friends and not those who "punish us for nothing to the extent of punishing 13 million people" through sanctions.
He said the Western sanctions had resulted in Zimbabwe's researchers and planners operating in isolation to the detriment of agricultural development in the country.
Zimbabwe had therefore chosen to collaborate with China and other Asian countries to enhance the expertise of its agricultural experts, he said.
The West imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe at the turn of the century following the expropriation of white owned land by government to resettle indigenous people.