Tuesday, July 26, 2005

China-Zimbabwe Relations

This is just sickening:
China 'trusts Zimbabwe's government and people have the ability to deal properly with their own matters', a foreign ministry statement said. [BBC]
For those of you who may not be familiar with Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, let me offer a highlight reel courtesy of The Economist:
Mr Mugabe and his party have ruled Zimbabwe [since 1980], but the once-respected resistance leader now uses thuggery to hang on to power. This has involved the stifling of free speech and the judiciary and the repression of the opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Starting in March 2000, Mr Mugabe's supporters began seizing land from white landowners. This helped ruin Zimbabwe's economy and created worsening food shortages. The EU passed “smart sanctions” aimed at Mr Mugabe and his cronies in February 2002, but this did not stop them from claiming victory in a crooked presidential election. In March 2002 the Commonwealth responded by suspending Zimbabwe's membership.

Mr Mugabe, who boasts of ruling until he's “a century old”, again rigged the polls to steal the general election of March 2005. Not surprisingly, the country's population is declining as Zimbabweans flee to neighbouring Zambia and South Africa.
Does this sound to you like a leader who should be trusted? Of course the purpose of this aid pact is for China to demonstrate that it firmly believes in the Westphalian system and that under no circumstances should one country ever interfere in the internal affairs of another. The result in Zimbabwe however is propping up (and giving international legitimacy to, to the extent that China has any to give) an evil dictator. Once again from the BBC:
Mr Mugabe has adopted a 'Look East' policy, after being ostracised in the West over alleged human rights abuses.
Way to go, China, you have effectively demonstrated that you lack any semblance of compunction.