Saturday, September 01, 2007

The smell of putrefaction

Africabeat links to news that China is withdrawing its support for Mugabe's Zimbabwe. The Telegraph writes: "One of the Zimbabwe president's oldest diplomatic friends, China yesterday told Lord Malloch Brown, the Foreign Office minister, that it was dropping all assistance except humanitarian aid. The move follows a decision by China, a permanent member of the United Nations security council, to work more closely with the international community in bringing pressure to bear on "rogue regimes". It represents a major shift in its previous policy of refusing to attack the internal policies of long-standing allies."

Africabeat writes, "at the very least, they can smell change in the air. Zimbabwe's no longer bankable, no longer a country in which to make long-term investments in industries or in people. Politically, I get the sense that things could turn in any number of directions at any moment." This is is probably a correct reading of the situation. China isn't ditching Mugabe because they've suddenly acquired democratic principles. They're ditching him because his ship is sinking. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Nothing follows.

7 Comments:

Blogger F said...

While it is true it "couldn't happen to a nicer guy," we should not conclude that the scales have fallen off China's eyes for any moral reason. More likely, they recognize there is nothing left there to plunder. I was stationed in Tanzania when the Chinese signed an agreement to build a railway from Zambia in the southwest to the harbor of Dar es Salaam. The loan was substantial ($600 million sticks in my head) and repayment was to be in Tanzanian goods -- like ivory and other commodities that were good value in East Africa. Nyerere was then telling the world the white regimes in South Africa, Mozambique and Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe) would fall, but building a railway that would avoid transiting those countries. When majority rule came to Zimbabwe and Mozambique the Tan-Zam Railway was a white elephant but the debt remained. And it was only after work was well along that Nyerere found out the railway gauge matched that in only two other countries in the world: China and South Africa. The Chinese have always been very sharp in their dealings with the Third World; morality was never an issue when I was watching developments in Africa. I cannot believe morality has anything to do with this move. Someone in the PRC Foreign Ministry took a long look at Mugabe and realized it was time to throw him to the wolves. F

9/01/2007 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Is asylum for the rest of his life in France like Idi Amin or Yasser Arafat an option for Mugabe? Would France take him, if he consented to go?

Would it ever be possible to put him on trial for "crimes against humanity" or something like that?

9/01/2007 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Would it ever be possible to put him on trial for "crimes against humanity" or something like that?

Unlikely. As the protagonist in the movie Men in Tights said, "Unlike other Robin Hoods, I have a British accent." Analogously, unlike Augusto Pinochet, Robert Mugabe is a Marxist. Crimes against humanity, no can do. He meant well.

9/02/2007 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger John J. Coupal said...

China is cleaning up its foreign image in hopes that too many potential attendees to next year's olympics don't defect.

9/02/2007 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger lgude said...

This could be very significant - Mugabe's political party, the ZANU-PF was always backed by China. The other tribe - the Metabili of southern Zimbabwe had Russian backing during the revolution. After the revolution ended in 1980 the Shona settled old scores with the Metabili and the Chinese faction has been dominant ever since. And China has backed Mugabe and bailed him out many times. The economic insanity has gone so far one could only wonder at what the Chinese were up to. Perhaps wait until Zimbabwe owed then so much they would be forced to pay China in raw material at the prices China wanted to pay. The first Zim dollar traded at 12 to 1 in 98. It was devalued by a factor of 1000 in 2006 from 250,000 to 250, but quickly climbed again to 300,000 and even 400,000 in recent months. Price controls were imposed on pain of the government confiscating businesses, and the economic insanity still goes on. A quarter of the population have been driven out and a lot are dying of starvation.Most countries would have stopped ho0ped him and it may take an outside force like the Chinese to do it. Any western country doing would be perceived as colonialist. If the Chinese do act it will be interesting how theya re perceived.

9/02/2007 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

The move follows a decision by China, a permanent member of the United Nations security council, to work more closely with the international community in bringing pressure to bear on "rogue regimes". It represents a major shift in its previous policy of refusing to attack the internal policies of long-standing allies."

Perhaps this is directed a tiny bit at Iran. After France says, "Iran with the bomb is worse than bombing Iran," China throws a minor but long standing ally under the bus. Pressure on rogue regimes, anyone?

As the Democrats campaign on a basis that will make it impossible for them to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, the world may want GWB to do something quick.

Interesting. The Left's desire to tie the hands of the USA will give the Bush Administration the green light to take on Tehran. So Tehran will more than likely buckle. That means leaving Iraq and backing off the bomb (for a time). And hope for John Edwards as President (Cater Redux).

9/02/2007 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

...Unless they misread the situation, hdgreene. I would argue that the Left's temper tantrums have all but ensured that Pres. Bush will act decisively first, holding the presser after the fact. To the quiet approval of responsible parties, and the outrage of the Democrats.

9/02/2007 07:55:00 PM  

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