By Elvis Muraranganda
CHINA’S head of the diplomatic mission in Namibia, Qiu Xuejun and his team at 28 Hebenstreit Street in Windhoek have remained silent on why that country, which continues to benefit financially from local tenders, did not support a resolution on Namibia’s independence 39 years ago.
However, the Government has defended China’s decision not to participate in Resolution 435 which paved way for Namibia’s freedom and self-determination, blaming it on the political climate at the time.
China, which continues to bleed the country out of billions of dollars through busloads of public procurement tenders, is also benefiting immensely from Namibia’s support at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Many questioned China’s friendship to the people of Namibia, a country whose sole ticket to freedom it refused to sign, but waiting only for the first Government to be sworn-in before entering into diplomatic relations.
It has been a week now since questions were sent to Qiu’s personal assistant a certain Li Xiaoyang but to this date, no response has been received from the mission.
Among the questions was a request for an explanation as to why the East Asian country did not participate in the 1978 UN Security Council Resolution 435 and what that abstinence meant to Sino-Namibia relations.
Li has since refused to entertain any calls from this reporter but later referred via text message all queries to a certain Chen.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, is of the opinion that Resolution 435 should be “contextualised in terms of time and sponsorship”.
“This Resolution was put to the vote at the height of the Cold War characterised by different interests of major international players,” explained Nandi-Ndaitwah.
“Countries on the opposite of the Cold War spectrum would generally refrain from supporting resolutions sponsored by their adversaries.”
She continued: “The UN records show that Resolution 435 was supported by 12 countries, the Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia and the Czech Republic) and the Soviet Union (Russia) abstained while China did not participate.”
Nandi-Ndaitwah, however, indicated that China, as a sovereign and independent state, votes according to its national interests while adding that she cannot speak on behalf of that country.
“We wish to reaffirm that Namibia and China continue to enjoy excellent bilateral relations.”
She maintained that it should be noted that UN voting procedures provide that a member state may either vote yes, no, abstain or not participate.
On Namibia’s voting patterns at the UNGA which a study revealed is aligned to Chinese interests, Nandi-Ndaitwah said the study is “a pure academic research exercise” and not an official UN document.
She further indicated that Namibia formulates and adopts policies that govern its relations with other states or international organisations based on its national interests and not on other countries.
“Furthermore, we are not compelled to vote in a particular way by others, we do so, on our own volition”.
Contrary to what Nandi-Ndaitwah claims, the global study reveals that since assuming its place in the UNGA in April 1990, Namibia surprisingly finds itself frequently voting with the Non-Aligned Movement, and China with an increase in alignment with Russia over the last decade.
Although, N a m i b i a stands acc u s e d of systematically abstaining on country resolutions during the UNGA voting sessions, it is revealed that 90 percent of the time Namibia and China’s votes are similar while there has been a steady negative trend with Namibia’s percent agreement with the US.
According to Nandi-Ndaitwah: “In the UN system, Namibia belongs to the African Group, Non-Aligned movement and the Group of 77 and China.”
“These are the standing groups of developing countries. Where there is no group position, Namibia votes in her national interests. Where there is a group voting, Namibia votes accordingly.”
She stressed that anyone who comprehensively and not selectively researchers on Namibia’s voting pattern at regional and international organisations will realise that there are similarities between Namibia’s vote, with SADC member states, African Union, Non- Aligned Movement or G77.
“In line with the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, we have been consistent in the implementation of our Foreign Policy.”
“For example in promoting international cooperation peace and security, Namibia has continued to vote on resolutions of the General Assembly dealing with social and economic development issues in order to advance international cooperation.”
It is her belief that, in creating and maintaining just and mutually beneficial relations among nations, Namibia had continued to refrain from the politicisation of human rights situations.
And it is for this reason that Namibia, continued to abstain from country specific resolutions and a stance she says will persist, especially when double standards and selectivity are applied as it is often the case.
“Namibia has and will continue to vote for all resolutions in the UN fora on self-determination for people under foreign occupation.”
This might be the case in the case of Palestine, where Namibia has all the years voted in favour of all UN resolutions calling for the self-determination of the people of Palestinian from Israel but not the case with its long-held support for the ‘One-China Policy’ which denies the people of Taiwan the right to self-rule.
As per the US Embassy in Namibia’s spokesperson, Eric Atkins, the study speaks for itself.
“The US praises the Namibian Government for its performance on a variety of topics.
“Every international vote is an opportunity for each country to stand boldly behind its founding and governing principles and demonstrate its sovereignty and independence in the community of nations,” said Atkins.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015