Skip to comments.Meanwhile, China Quietly Takes Over Zimbabwe
Posted on 03/02/2014 9:34:48 AM PST by Rusty0604
While the developed world is focusing on the rapidly deteriorating developments in the Crimean, China, which has kept a very low profile on the Ukraine situation aside from the token diplomatic statement, is taking advantage of this latest distraction to do what it does best: quietly take over the global periphery while nobody is looking.
Over two years ago we reported that none other than Zimbabwe - best known in recent history for banknotes with many zeros in them - was bashing the US currency, and had alligned itself with the Chinese Yuan. This culminated last month with the announcement by Zimbabwes central bank that it would accept the Chinese yuan and three other Asian currencies as legal tender as economic relations have improved in recent years. "Trade and investment ties between Zimbabwe, China, India, Japan and Australia have grown appreciably," said Charity Dhliwayo, acting governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Business Live reported then:
Exporters and the public can now open accounts in yuans, Australian dollars, Indian rupees and Japanese yen, Dhliwayo said. Zimbabwe abandoned its worthless currency in 2009.
It accepts the US dollar and the South African rand as the main legal tender. Their use has helped to stabilise the economy after world-record inflation threw it into a tailspin.
Independent economist Chris Mugaga said the introduction of the Asian currencies would not make a huge difference to Zimbabwes struggling economy.
"It is Zimbabwes Look East Policy, which has forced this, and nothing else," he said.
And now, as a result of the "Look East Policy", we learn that China has just achieved what every ascendent superpower in preparation for "gunboat diplomacy" mode needs: a key strategic airforce base. From the Zimbabwean.
China is planning to set up a modern high-tech military base in the diamond-rich Marange fields, says a German-based website, Telescope News.
The news of the agreement to set up the first Chinese military airbase in Africa comes amid increasing bilateral cooperation between Zimbabwe and China notably in mining, agriculture and preferential trade. China is the only country exempted from the indigenisation laws which force all foreign investors to cede 51% of their shareholding to carefully selected indigenous Zimbabweans.
The airstrip at Marange has sophisticated radar systems and ultra-modern facilities
The Marange story quoted unnamed military officials and a diplomat admitting knowledge of the plan to set up the base. Efforts to get a comment from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces were fruitless, as spokesperson Lt Col Alphios Makotore was consistently unavailable and did not respond to emails by the time of going to press.
The website speculated that China could be positioning itself for future gunboat diplomacy where its military presence would give it bargaining power against superpowers like the US. It would also be safeguarding its significant economic interests in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.
Veil of secrecy
Military officials in Zimbabwe said details of the airbase plan were sketchy and mostly classified due to the veil of secrecy around President Robert Mugabes relationship with Chinas Red Army. A sizeable number of Chinese troops are reported to have their boots on the ground in the Marange diamond fields, which have since been cordoned off as a high level security zone, said the publication.
It added that a senior Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) officer based in Harare confirmed that there were rumours of the impending establishment of the airstrip as a follow up to a military treaty signed between China and Zimbabwe in July 2005.
Telescope News has made sensational claims in recent weeks, among them that Defence Minister and Zanu (PF) Secretary for Legal Affairs, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was secretly anointed by the military to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
It quoted a former Asian diplomat deployed to Zimbabwe for almost a decade as saying: Havent you heard that Africa is the battlefield of tomorrow, today? As such in terms of geo-politics Zimbabwe is already a key battleground, for various competing powers. During my stay there, we heard about many military agreements being signed between the two countries.
Chinese companies are heavily involved in diamond mining, in partnership with the Zimbabwe Government. They are believed to have constructed the airstrip at Marange that many suspect is being used to clandestinely haul diamonds to unknown destinations. It has sophisticated radar systems and ultra-modern facilities.
At this point expect to see a prompt, and unexpected, escalation in hostilities in southern Africa, most likely due to latent ethnic conflict of some kind (and brought back to the surface with the help of a few CIA dollars), which in turn will be the justification for US drones to begin operations in proximity to Zimbabwe to keep up with China's encroaching take over of Africa, now from the south.
Perhaps most interesting is the finding that Zimbabwe's president-cum-dictator, Robert Mugabe, so widely despised by the west, is in fact on China's payroll:
Confidential Central Intelligence Organisation documents leaked last year suggested that China had played a central role in retaining President Robert Mugabe in the July 31 elections, indicating that high level military officers had worked closely with the local army in poll strategies while Beijing bankrolled Zanu (PF).
China is Zimbabwes biggest trading partner after South Africa and has strategic economic interests in many African countries to guarantee raw materials, job sources and markets for its huge population.
The new Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Lin Lin, recently said trade between the two countries last year exceeded the $1 billion mark. Yet Zimbabwe is only 26th on the list of Chinas 58 biggest African trading partners.
The Asian country has supplied Zimbabwe with military hardware, including MIG jet fighters, tanks, armoured vehicles and rifles, since Independence.
In other words, while nobody was looking, China just took over one more nation without spilling a drop of blood. And now back to the regularly scheduled Crimean War part X.
Good luck with that, China.
Sneaky Chicoms. They’re always up to their tricks. The Siamese cat stealing the goldfish while the Russian bear tears apart the house. Meanwhile, the Kenyan snake is hiding in a closet.
China doesn’t need to take part in this cluster in the Ukraine. Whomever “wins” will just get the silver medal, while they are guaranteed the gold for not being dumb enough to get involved.
Have fun with Rhodesia.
Might do some real good for Zimbabwe. I know China has built a lot of good roads in Africa.
Zimbabwe could get the Dutch to come in and set up a strong agricultural infrastructure, and... and... and...
Oh. Never mind.
Yep. They can have that one.
African anti-colonial marxist inspired leaders such as Mugabe make me laugh. The traded one master (the Europeans) for another (the Chinese).
Rhodesia was a paradise compare to what Zimbabwe is now. This is the future of South Africa too.
As you may already know, China has been rather quietly but rapidly developing parts of Africa. Providing aid, building projects, mines, etc. They have an economic plan using Africa’s natural resources.
I bet they give it back.
There was a two part Top Gear where they drove on some of the old roads and some of the new roads. On some of the old roads you would be lucky to make 10 miles in a day, on the new modern chinese made roads they drove at highway speeds.
While I’m no fan of Chinese economic power, they certainly aren’t stupid and I’ve gotta admire their willingness to get things done.
To the Chinese: Remember Julias Nyarye.
Yes, the natural resources are what they are after.
I believe China is also investing heavily in Brazil. There is an acromem that states the sphere of influence; BRIC = Brazil, Russia, India, and China; the New & Improved Gang of Four.
Now they are adding South Africa; BRICS
Major problem with Chinese in Africa is that they routinely ignore restrictions on killing endangered species for their horns etc. to sell in Asian medicinal markets. In the case of rhinos which are almost extinct, they shoot them from helicpters in both Kenya and Tanzania...friend’s daughter in the peace Corps says a few dollars and every so-called official looks the other way. A wildlife tragedy of immense consequence.
That would be going on in Africa regardless of whether China was there or not. Those poached animal products are sold primarily in Asia but its been going on for at least the past century.
Obama has a solution to save the elephants, ignoring the laws of supply and demand:
“U.S. wildlife agency destroys 6 tons of contraband ivory”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pulverized about 6 tons of confiscated elephant ivory Thursday in an effort to strip the items of their value and make a statement against poaching.
Zimbabwe....that would be my choice too.
There was a news article not too long ago about how Chinese men are marrying African women and raising families in Africa.
I saw that too. Had to do something about the women shortage in China.
It has to be for the better as it couldn’t have been any worse there.
A friend of mine with mining interests in Zimbabwe says the native people hate the Chinese.
The country is loaded with nickel, gold, talc, barite and more. There is a worldwide shortage of barite, which is used in paint and for producing crude oil.
I think it’s Botswana that has come up with a profitable solution to poaching elephants. They tranquilize the elephants and harvest the ivory.
It leave the elephant alive, produces revenue, and the elephants are no longer a desirable target for poachers.
HOWEVER this has created another problem. There are approximately 180,000 elephants in Botswana which do serious environmental damage all by themselves.
Chinese can’t be demonized as white so the usual “yankee imperialists go home” crap won’t work.
China knows the future belong to those who control the rare earth mineral sources. Africa is filled with untapped wealth.
China has no PC codes of conduct and no sense of white guilt.
China will do quite well in Africa.
Agreed it’s been going on. But in the last 5 years, under the umbrella of developing the economies of various African nations, the Chinese have put poaching on steroids. Shooting from helicopters got to me...at least the old white hunters got their boots muddy.
I wish both of them the best of luck!
Honestly. They could really help each other. Or they could end up being worse than before, but I don’t think there’s anything we could do to stop it either way, so I’ll just sit back and pray.
At some point, the Chinese may decide that the rinos are more valuable to them than the Africans, and turn Zim into an African-free rino breeding area (except for the areas around the mines and such)
They have been purchasing natural resources and assets all over the world. A lot of people in America think the Chinese depend on us to continue buying their junk for their survival but they have other plans.
They’re just practicing how to take over a bankrupt banana republic run by a tin-pot dictator who printed money like crazy in an effort to support his political friends.
After while it is burning.
So the racist Chinese have allied themselves with the racist blacks of Zimbabwe. Birds of a feather.
China can have it...