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Begging bowl in hand, Mugabe goes to China
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, July 23, 2005

After having willfully and purposely run a once vibrant economy and self-sufficient (and fairly rich) nation into the ground, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has decided the next place to turn for help is China.

Why? I do love this quote (it probably qualifies as the quote of the day at the very least):
Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba told Reuters on Friday Zimbabwe had also approached India, China and Iran for financial help with infrastructure and energy projects.

"We are trying to break away from Western donors who have conditioned us to conditionalities and that means going East, going South," he said.
Translation? "Too many strings, too much of a demand for performance".

Like all bandit bureaucracies, they just want the "donor" to give them the money and go away.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe left for China on a state visit accompanied by his central bank head and senior government ministers, state media reported on Saturday, but did not spell out the purpose of the trip.

The visit comes days after Mugabe's spokesman said the government, isolated from the West, was exploring alternative lines of credit with countries such as China and Malaysia as it grapples with Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis in decades.

Unemployment is above 70 percent, inflation is in triple digits and there are acute shortages of foreign currency, food and fuel.

"The President left Harare yesterday evening for China on a week-long state visit," the official Herald newspaper reported.

It gave no other details other than that Mugabe travelled with Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa, and the ministers of foreign affairs, energy and power development and transport and communications.
The purpose of the trip? Look at those unemployment and inflation numbers. The purpose of the trip is to find a new source of funds to stave off a popular revolution ... and to further line the pockets of the thugs which run the so called Republic of Zimbabwe.

However, it appears that the hoped for "donation" by China to Zimbabwe may not procede as smoothly as hoped for by Mugabe:
On Thursday New Zealand, leading a push to isolate Zimbabwe on the sporting field, said it wanted China to ensure that any aid it gives to the troubled African nation did not directly benefit its veteran leader, whose government critics blame for the crisis afflicting the southern African country.

A foreign ministry spokesman said New Zealand and Chinese officials would meet in Beijing before Mugabe's visit and that Chinese aid for Zimbabwe would be discussed.
Frankly, I can't imagine Mugabe to be detached enough from reality to believe that a government, any government (and especially the resourse hungry Chinese government) is going to hand over billions of dollars without strings or conditions.

But history shows us that better men than Mugabe have been the victim of their delusions before. It'll be interesting to watch how well the begging for billions in China goes for the Zimbabwean contingent.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Zimbabwe has a lot of gold available for mining, China wants the concessions - seems likely they will loan money on these conditions.

BTW - New Zealand has decided that the freedom of all NZers to travel wherever they want is more important than isolating Zimbabwe by banning a cricket tour, so all the talk of isolating is just talk.
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
Mr McQ: You are being naive in describing Mugabe’s mission as "begging". He has something to sell, namely Zimbabwe itself, and the question is what defensible guarantees (e.g. of priveleged access to Zimbabwe’s mineral resources) China can lock in up-front in exchange for cash.

This case for aid with no strings (or insufficient strings) was commonly made during the cold war, when the economic allegiance of these beggar nations could be bought by either side.

The Chinese know that the cost to them is not only cash for Mugabe’s government, but the future defense of that regime or its descendants (who will honor the priveleges Mugabe is preparing to grant China) against rivals (e.g., the likely Western-backed democratic movements). It will be interesting to see how they weigh this opportunity.
Written By: sammler
It is interesting that when Rover is grovelling for Chinese buyouts it is respectable investment. When Zimbabwe chooses to partner or "sell" to Chinese it is foul. For Goodness sake. The west has benefitted from time immemorial with slavery and then scramble of Africa and exploitation of minerals. London has got all the gold stushed in vaults but the Brits have no single gold mine.

Save us the agony boys. The Chinese will be the graeter power than America and you will be a fooll not to align with them

Any comment in reply.
Written By: Dumisani Tsitsa
URL: http://
I will be a fooll, then. But at least I will not be the graeter fooll.
Written By: sammler
It is interesting that when Rover is grovelling for Chinese buyouts it is respectable investment.

I might have some sympathy for your POV if Mugabe was seeking investment. But he’s not. The word "donor" has a specific meaning ... so save the sanctimony.

The Chinese will be the graeter power than America and you will be a fooll not to align with them

Not if they maintain their present form of government they won’t. Mugabe’s move is transparent. The west places too many conditions on its "donations" so his hope is to play this off on the Chinese and pull a billion or two with fewer conditions so he and his thugs can refill the treasury (spend a minimum on keeping the proles in line) and party on.
Written By: McQ
McQ - China is about to donate some money to Zimbabwe, shortly after this Zimbabwe will award its mining rights to a Chinese. You are right this is a donation, though if it was looked at as an investment it would not be a bad one.
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
China is doing what the West has done during the past few hundred years to gain power... and what the US is still doing: exploiting the resources of weaker nations.
Written By: ktchong
URL: http://
Great Game

Just had to rewrite this Washington Post piece, from the more realistic Chinese standpoint.


Since the failed attempt by the CIA to engineer a change of regime in China in the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, China policy has been a political football that American politicians kick back and forth to score points against one another. In the 1990s, it was a penalty-free game because the United States had the upper hand. China needed American technology, know-how and insatiable consumer market to build its economy, as well as Uncle Sam’s blessing to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). The pols were having so much fun that even today they continue to live in their fantasy world of having China to kick around.

But those days are over, whether or not the pols are smart enough to notice - many are not. America is now terminally addicted to well priced China made goods. The American living standard would shrink by 25% if China refuses to export to America. When the silly pols suggested putting a 27.5% duty on Chinese goods, Li, Zhaoxing quietly suggested to the orifices that China would consider matching that with a 50% export duty. You have to be in the room to see those faces turn green. The 27.5% bill was withdrawn so quickly it was not even funny. Moreover, China’s raging consumer market, its massive export machine, voracious appetite for global resources and more than $700 billion in foreign exchange (expected to exceed $1 Trillion by mid year 2006) reserves puts China in the catbird’s seat. Now it is obligatory for Dubya to open his ranch for every visiting Chinese president.

It is difficult to overstate the transformation that has swept China in the past 15 years. To frame it in terms of comparable historical changes in the United States, China has been simultaneously experiencing the raw capitalism of the robber baron era of the late 1800s; the speculative financial mania of the 1920s; the rural-to-urban migration of the 1930s; the emergence of the first-car, first-home, first-fashionable-clothes, first-college-education, first-family-vacation middle-class consumer boom of the 1950s; and even aspects of social upheaval similar to the 1960s, all in a much more compressed time frame.

But for the capable leadership of the CPC, the current crop being literally the best in the world, China would have gone through the turmoils experienced in America over many decades. Yet because the Chinese work with a single goal in mind, the same that was formulated by Deng, China rolls forward without a hitch, and her economy continues to grow at almost 10% a year into the foreseeable future, continuing a success streak for almost 3 decades now.

Today the Chinese elite - the government officials and business executives envy, fear and pity the United States.

China envies America’s entrepreneurial culture and rich markets. America still has some best-in-the-world universities, if not the talent to fill them. Imported talent enormous R&D budgets create new products and services. China’s economic reforms over the past 25 years have been aimed at creating a Chinese variation of the U.S. economic system and its ability to unleash entrepreneurial instincts and harness markets to build a world-beating economy, all on a shoestring, since China’s GDP per capita is still only 1/40th that of America. The envy is a healthy one, and a challenging one - the challenger facing any Chinese leader would be how to motivate the Chinese to work hard and work smart, and to use what little resources there are to outgrow and outsmart much richer nations. By any standard of measure, China succeeds.

China’s fear stems from seeing an American high-tech military machine controlled by a bunch of megalomaniacs out of control. America is like a young thug with the body of a 20 something and testosterone dripping, but the maturity of a 12 year old and an IQ of 80. It is a scary sight to watch the thug victimize so many around the globe. Who can forget standing in front of the Beijing train station during the first Gulf War, amid a sea of Chinese workers, thousands of whom had stopped their bicycles in the street to watch slack-jawed as huge outdoor TV screens displayed footage of American missiles screaming down Baghdad smokestacks. The common thought was, "What have the Iraqis done to deserve this brutality?" Just a few blocks away in the leadership compound of Zhongnanhai, Chinese officials imagined a sophormophic neocon controlled American military buying into its own bromide that China has only 6 ICBM that can reach N. America, and not the 2,000 warhead that Beijing counts on for peace. America is genuinely dangerous to the continued existence of humans on earth. Beijing has no choice but to switch its policy of beind discrete - to keep the bully well behaved, you have to show your muscles. In that regard, the jury is still out. The Pentagon has been lying so many years about China’s nuclear arsenal, it has difficulty believing reality.

Chinese pity comes from the plain observation that America is a country in decline. What a pity, for a country that has so much, and with so many opportunities, yet fritters it all away. China is awed and shocked by the waste of the American legal system, and its burden by ideological dogma, and inability to unemotionally discard what doesn’t work. SWCC is anathema to this dogma. More than a few Chinese friends have quoted to me the proverb fu bu guo san dai (wealth doesn’t make it past three generations) as they wonder how America became so ill-disciplined, distracted and dissolute. The Chinese are equally astonished that Americans are allowing themselves to drown in debt and under-fund public schools while the media focus on fights over feeding tubes, displays of the Ten Commandments and how to eat as much as they can without getting fat. In America, irresponsibility is mistaken for freedom. Pornography is the most, if not the only, profitable application on the national network built with hundreds of billions of funds. This national disrespect of half of the population (all American women folk) lead not only to high rape rates (50 times higher than in China), and myriad other social problems such as teenage pregnancies and such. This same "freedom" in entertainment saturates young impressionable minds with violence and brutality (it is not only O.K. to kill and maim as long as it is "them" and not "us" that are hurt, it is quintessential to do so to be an American) produces the most violent developed nation on earth. Even with a police force 3 times that of China, and 0.7% of the population (mostly ethnic minorities) semi-permanently warehoused in jails (6 or 7 times higher than in China), America still has crime rates twice that in China, and violent crime rates 10 times that in China. More than 30,000 die of gunshot wounds alone each year. This brutality and propensity for violence carries forth when America sends its troops overseas.

In contrast, China is all about unity, focus and leverage. Chinese officials and business executives are obsessed with a single question: What can help China maintain stability and peace, so that the economic machine can do its thing, continuing to double the Chinese living standard every 8-10 years?

It is no secret that if China sits out even just one U.S. Treasury auction, the U.S. stock markets would tumble, interest rates would skyrocket, and the real estate market would avalanche. It is not even funny when Congress threatens to impose huge tariffs on Chinese imports. The resulting huge price increases at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and the Gap would hurt the not-so-wealthy bottom 90% of America, and there’s be blood on the streets. And while the Chinese do not relish sharing a border with the nutso North Koreans (who would not agree to allow China to develop a port entre into the Sea of Japan, despite the advantages it could bring to N. Korea), China is happy to turn this bad situation to her advantage. The Bush administration desperately needs China’s help in quelling the hermit kingdom’s nuclear ambitions as America is stupid enough to be bogged down in Iraq.

America needs China today, much more than China needs America.

The wise Chinese leaders fully understand the dangers of undiluted capitalism as an ideology. They have a long term formula that harnesses capitalism without allowing mere greed to take over the nation. China was the world’s richest and most technologically advanced nation for much of the past 5,000 years. It was only in the last few hundred years that China stumbled. The Chinese leaders are calling for the nation to unite behind the goal of bringing China back to her rightful place in the world. It works. The Chinese truly love their country, and they make it their business to work hard and work smart, and instead of blaming God for being unfair, the Chinese work with the hand that’s been dealth, and make the best of it. This need to excel, this call to be the best of the best, is why China is succeeding and will succeed going into the 21st century.

The beautiful thing is that China’s rise means so much to the world - so many people’s lives get better and their living standards get higher because of the well priced Chinese goods. Exports to China now accounts for the bulk of growth in the economies of many nations around the world. China and America have manageable differences and many complementary interests. The call is for those in power to recognize it.

Stop preaching instant democracy. It does not work. It merely reminds of the days of gunboat preaching, and the wound of the CIA engineered TAM incident. The Chinese correctly believe that this talk of "freedom" and "democracy" is part of the secret agenda to keep China chaotic and poor so that America can stay rich. Anyone who survived the insanity of the Cultural Revolution see the point. Even Chinese people I know who are unhappy with their government believe that China must find her own way, and that Western systems simply will not work. America can best help China inch toward political pluralism by trying to strengthen China’s court system and rule of law and by making visas plentiful again for Chinese to attend our universities and public policy forums.

Let Chinese companies purchase or merge with U.S. companies unless the American company has genuine advanced military technology. Reciprocity is only fair. China has allowed hundreds of billions of American investments to make tens of billions from China each year; and yet America has so far allowed less than a couple billion to be invested in American companies.

If America is truly interested in reducing the trade gap, remove the barriers. Since the mid-1990s, China has been able to purchase almost any commercial technology it desires from Japan, Israel, Russia or the European Union. Bogged down in a bureaucratic quagmire of ever-changing rules and approval processes, U.S. machine tool makers and silicon chip equipment manufacturers have fallen behind. If this continues, America will endanger its own national security base by weakening our technology companies and their R&D capabilities.

Keep in mind that while not altruistic, the Chinese would rather see America rich and be able to buy more. Help the Chinese help America.

And responsible members of Congress can no longer gin up China hysteria to get votes.

The stakes are getting too high.
Written By: Tong, Lu
URL: http://
BTW, if you have not yet noticed (you bubs are so stuck up with your own affairs and so xenophobic, it is not even funny), China is also donating in Angola. Yes, and with the $2 billion donation of hospitals and roads and phone networks, China is expected to be a major player in Angolan oil. And the Angolans love the Chinese. At least they do not want to do to the Chinese what the Iraqis would love to do to the Americans.

Bubs, wake up. The world does not want or need iron boots stomping all over them. Collateral damage hurts just as badly as intentional murder.

The Chinese way is a lot more peaceable, and it buys respect, if not love.
Written By: Tong, Lu
URL: http://
The Chinese way is much more user friendly, because:

1. Chinese friendship is true. We do not believe in abandoning old friends in their time of need.

2. The Chinese managers and engineers make only a couple times more than the locals, and not 100 times more.

3. The Chinese investors and their crew do not run around screwing local women and children. Their minds are not poisoned from childhood by porn.

Written By: Tong, Lu
URL: http://
Well, at least you’ve finally dropped all pretense and are acting like the shill for China most suspected you were from the beginning.

Thanks for the lessons in propaganda, btw.
Written By: McQ

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