Hundreds gather in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 to demand the departure of President Robert Mugabe after nearly four decades in power. (AP Photo/Lucky Tshuma)

Johannesburg - The Chinese Embassy on Monday denied reports that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) had briefed Chinese officials in advance of the planned military action that took place in Zimbabwe last week. 

Last week, it emerged that General Constantino Chiwenga had met Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan in Beijing, where Chang expressed a willingness to promote relations with Zimbabwe.

China's Foreign Ministry said the trip by Zimbabwe's military chief was a "normal military exchange", refusing to be drawn into claims that Chiwenga had briefed China on the military's plans to seize power

The Chinese Embassy in a statement rejected these reports confirming this as completely false, groundless, and a total fabrication. 

"It is beyond obvious that the purpose of certain elements trying to link the Zimbabwe political crisis with China is to undermine China’s image and to drive a wedge between China and Africa. The relevant report is self-contradictory, full of logical fallacies, and filled with evil intentions. 

"China and Zimbabwe share longstanding friendly relations. When Zimbabwe is faced with isolation and sanction by the West, China has upheld its principle, stood by the side of Zimbabwe, and carried out comprehensive mutually beneficial cooperation, which has brought benefits to the two countries and two peoples. "

The embassy reiterated the purpose of the visit, confirming that it was a normal military exchange between the two countries.

"This was a previously agreed exchange between the two sides, and it was approved by President Mugabe.The narrative of certain western media that this normal bilateral exchange is relevant to the Zimbabwe political crisis is purely guessing with ulterior motives."

The embassy added that China was closely following the situation in Zimbabwe, and expressed hoped that the Zimbabwe political crisis would be resolved properly to allow the country to return to normalcy as soon as possible. 

Furthermore, the embassy said China believed that the political crisis in Zimbabwe was an internal affair and added that talks and comments among the media should be conducive for Zimbabwe to realize social stability, economic development, and improvement of people’s livelihood rather than an opportunity to stir up troubles for selfish gains.

"China appreciates and supports the mediation efforts by SADC and other countries in the region for the peaceful resolution of the crisis. 

"China believes that the people of Zimbabwe and relevant parties have the ability and wisdom to peacefully and properly resolve the issue under the legal framework so as to safeguard the fundamental interests of all Zimbabwean people."

The embassy added that: "China is firmly committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and never interferes with the domestic affairs of other country. China is strongly committed to African people resolving African issue in an African way. China has full confidence that the Zimbabwean people are able to bring the country back to normalcy as soon as possible and achieve independent development. 

"China will continue its friendly cooperation with Zimbabwe based on the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation. China stands ready to provide all necessary assistance and support to help Zimbabwe maintain stability and unity and achieve economic development."