Mugabe wins at Beijing bingo

via Mugabe wins at Beijing bingo – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 30, 2014 by David Smith

It is a mutual admiration society to which the West is definitely not invited.

The leaders of China and Zimbabwe whispered sweet nothings about shared history, common foes and future co-operation during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing this week.

China’s President, Xi Jinping, praised Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe as “an old friend of the Chinese people whom we respect very much”.

Mugabe, for his part, said he felt “very much at home”.
The political love-in came as 90-year-old Mugabe made his 13th trip to China in what critics describe as a desperate attempt to attract investment to rescue a sinking economy. China’s gross domestic product of $8,227 trillion in 2012 dwarfs Zimbabwe’s of $10,81-billion.

For years Mugabe, accused by the West of electoral fraud and human rights violations, has been pushing a “Look East” policy for business.

Now this appears to include persuading the population of Zimbabwe, a former British colony – where cricket is still played and “O” Levels and “A” Levels are still studied – to become more familiar with Chinese culture.

An article last week by Lin Lin, the Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, in the State-owned Herald newspaper, noted that a recent Night of Beijing performance in Harare had “fascinated and left unforgettable memories in the hearts of an audience of over
3 000”.

The Chinese embassy and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation had co-hosted the “first ever China-Zimbabwe quiz show to further increase the mutual knowledge and understanding between the two peoples”, Lin Lin continued.

And now a professional crew from China Central Television is in Zimbabwe to shoot a tourism promotion documentary that will “attract more Chinese people’s eyes to this wonderland”.

On Monday, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan greeted Mugabe and his wife Grace with full military honours. A band played the two national anthems as a 21-gun salute was fired and the two Presidents inspected a military honour guard.

Children held flowers and miniature flags of both countries to welcome the two leaders, who held a meeting behind closed doors that lasted for hours, the Herald reported.

An unusually effusive Xi said: “I stand ready to work with you, your excellency, to comprehensively deepen our bilateral relationship and make sure the relationship will create benefits for people in both countries.”

Mugabe responded with thanks, saying: “We are prepared on our part to continue our historical relations and even build on them as we develop our economies and Zimbabwe will naturally as before, being a smaller country, be the beneficiary of this relationship and so I want to assure you of our reciprocal undertaking that we will do our best to reciprocate your friendship.”

The leaders oversaw the signing of nine agreements, including on economic, trade and tourism co-operation and emergency food donations and loans on concession from China to the Southern African nation. No figures were provided.

Zimbabwe’s relations with China and the Communist Party of China date back to the liberation struggle of the 1970s, when Beijing provided arms and trained some of the top guerilla leaders.

China invested more in non-financial sectors in Zimbabwe than in any other country on the continent last year, exceeding $602 million, the official Xinhua news agency cited Chinese government figures as saying.

At least two China-linked firms, Anjin Investments and Jinan Mining, have operated concessions at Zimbabwe’s hugely controversial Marange diamond fields.

Others have been accused of abusive treatment of workers.

Since Mugabe’s disputed election win last year, foreign investment has plunged, hundreds of manufacturing companies have closed and unemployment in the country stands at an estimated 80%.
The Mail & Guardian reported last week that Zimbabwe would allow China to bypass the normal State tender process for major projects in return for quick funding.

Mugabe is subject to sanctions by the United States and the European Union and was one of only a handful of African leaders not invited to Barack Obama’s US-Africa summit in Washington earlier this month.


  • comment-avatar
    avenger/revenger 8 years ago

    These much lauded ” mega ” ‘agreements’ are exactly that. Just agreements !!!!!!! Where is the substance ?????? ” we will only be a colony again – as long as it’s china ” !!!!!!!

  • comment-avatar

    It doesnt matter how you dress this relationship. Nobody cares how much these two Homosexual lovers are into each other. You can dramatise and romanticise and use all manner of poetic affections. Mugabe did not go to China for a romantic trist with Xi Jinping. Who really cares who was poo stabbing who in this relationship?

    Stick to the matters at hand ,dont try and be clever, idiots.
    It is highly unlikely there will be jobs in the next couple of months. All we want to hear from you is what do these pieces of paper that were signed mean and when will they translate into meaningful change in sectors of employment, education,health roads , agriculture and water, if ever.

    It is pathetic that you are trying to blatantly run rings around us instead of being honest and telling us kuty you FAILED. fulstop. You are back to square one.

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Mugabe is so clever. He is selling Zimbabwe to the lowest bidder.

  • comment-avatar
    The Mind Boggles 8 years ago

    JT you crack me up with such precise observations

  • comment-avatar
    thembani 8 years ago

    ‘who was poo stabbing who’
    Cracked my ribs.

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    Naison Nyereyegona 8 years ago

    China is the future and all those who do not know that are fools who live in the past so called glorry of the British Empire in which the sun never sets. That error is long gone and the truth is that the West is in decline and China is rising, with lightniing speed, if I may add.

    All countries, Japan, Australia and even soem western countries are now concentrating on the learning of Chinese in schools in preparation for China’s unstoppable global domination both politically and economically. Those who vilify Mugabe for being too close to China are stupid. Mugabe was the first Head of State to meet Xi even before he was confirmed leader of China.

    Even the screeming headline ‘Mugabe returns home with signatures’ shows how ignorant the writers are. Can someone tell me what any African president who recently went to the USA bring back home to his home country? All we saw was the parading of the African heads of state as children and were made to play second fiddle to Obama. Mugabe, on the other hand was treated as an equal by the Chinese and accorded the highest honour, higher even than that given to David Cameroon who recently went to China with the only deal he got being the much publicised mad cow diseased pigs he was going to give to China. China is going to use those pigs for lab experiments and not for breeding. Ha, ha, ha!!!!!!

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    Mlimo 8 years ago

    If he feels so much at HOme in china why can’t he move there permanently. It is his first home as he is not fully a Zimbabwean only a half breed. Singapore is much closer and he can pop over there weekly.

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    tapiwa 8 years ago

    may I ask those in the know for I am not when Mugabe went to China was he speaking Chinese,Shona or Ndebele or the language of the ‘English colonists as he calls them’

  • comment-avatar
    Mlimo 8 years ago

    Oh the most distasteful English like he has a hot potato in his mouth. The problem is that only lies and deceit come out of his mouth no matter how well he speaks that colonial language.

  • comment-avatar
    just saying 8 years ago

    Mugabe is so taken with the Chinese and all that goes with being Chinese but still wants to sound more English than the English themselves. After a 40+ year relationship with China why is it that he doesn’t speak their language but persists speaking the language of the ‘ Breteesh ‘!

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    masvukupete 8 years ago

    we don’t need these Chinese loans. We have the steel, cement and people to build bridges, we have the nickel chrome to make stainless steel, we have fertile land to feed ourselves but what we truly lack is leaders with half a mind to know it.