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Meanwhile, China Quietly Takes Over Zimbabwe
Zerohedge ^ | 03/02/2014 | Tyler Durden

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 Zimbabwe’s 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 Zimbabwe’s struggling economy.

"It is Zimbabwe’s 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 Mugabe’s relationship with China’s 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.

Key battleground

It quoted a former Asian diplomat deployed to Zimbabwe for almost a decade as saying: “Haven’t 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 Zimbabwe’s 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 China’s 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.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/02/2014 9:34:48 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

Good luck with that, China.


2 posted on 03/02/2014 9:36:18 AM PST by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: Rusty0604

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.


3 posted on 03/02/2014 9:41:43 AM PST by Viennacon
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To: Rusty0604

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.


4 posted on 03/02/2014 9:44:45 AM PST by VanDeKoik
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To: Steely Tom

Might do some real good for Zimbabwe. I know China has built a lot of good roads in Africa.


5 posted on 03/02/2014 9:46:22 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Rusty0604

I know!

Zimbabwe could get the Dutch to come in and set up a strong agricultural infrastructure, and... and... and...

Oh. Never mind.


6 posted on 03/02/2014 9:47:39 AM PST by Tigerized (So. Are YOU better off than you were 5 years ago?)
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To: Steely Tom

Yep. They can have that one.


7 posted on 03/02/2014 9:48:51 AM PST by Delta 21 (If you like your freedom, you can keep your freedom. Period.)
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To: Rusty0604

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.


8 posted on 03/02/2014 9:49:06 AM PST by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters for Freedom and Rededication to the Principles of the U.S. Constitution)
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To: cripplecreek

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.


9 posted on 03/02/2014 9:54:41 AM PST by FAA
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To: Rusty0604

I bet they give it back.


10 posted on 03/02/2014 9:56:55 AM PST by AppyPappy
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To: FAA

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.


11 posted on 03/02/2014 10:00:39 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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Less than $3.8k to go!!

Make Today, Day 61 the day!

12 posted on 03/02/2014 10:00:41 AM PST by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: RedMDer

To the Chinese: Remember Julias Nyarye.


13 posted on 03/02/2014 10:04:27 AM PST by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: FAA

Yes, the natural resources are what they are after.


14 posted on 03/02/2014 10:04:53 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

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.


15 posted on 03/02/2014 10:05:49 AM PST by lee martell
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To: lee martell

Now they are adding South Africa; BRICS


16 posted on 03/02/2014 10:07:50 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: FAA

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.


17 posted on 03/02/2014 10:08:18 AM PST by masadaman
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To: masadaman

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.


18 posted on 03/02/2014 10:20:37 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

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.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/nov/14/nation/la-na-nn-ivory-destroy-20131114


19 posted on 03/02/2014 10:26:50 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: Steely Tom; Rusty0604

Zimbabwe....that would be my choice too.


20 posted on 03/02/2014 10:27:47 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: FAA

There was a news article not too long ago about how Chinese men are marrying African women and raising families in Africa.


21 posted on 03/02/2014 10:30:34 AM PST by grania
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To: grania

I saw that too. Had to do something about the women shortage in China.


22 posted on 03/02/2014 10:33:47 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

It has to be for the better as it couldn’t have been any worse there.


23 posted on 03/02/2014 10:38:14 AM PST by bgill
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To: Rusty0604

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.


24 posted on 03/02/2014 10:43:03 AM PST by subterfuge (CBS NBC ABC FOX AP-- all no different than Pravda.)
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To: Rusty0604

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.

http://www.africahunting.com/content/2-wildlife-management-botswana-290/


25 posted on 03/02/2014 10:43:45 AM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Rusty0604

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.


26 posted on 03/02/2014 10:44:26 AM PST by Organic Panic
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To: cripplecreek

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.


27 posted on 03/02/2014 10:47:24 AM PST by masadaman
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To: Rusty0604

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.


28 posted on 03/02/2014 10:50:10 AM PST by Ellendra ("Laws were most numerous when the Commonwealth was most corrupt." -Tacitus)
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To: cripplecreek
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.

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)

29 posted on 03/02/2014 10:51:59 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Organic Panic

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.


30 posted on 03/02/2014 10:52:44 AM PST by Rusty0604
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To: Rusty0604

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.


31 posted on 03/02/2014 10:58:22 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Republican amnesty supporters don't care whether their own homes are called mansions or haciendas.)
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To: AppyPappy

After while it is burning.


32 posted on 03/02/2014 11:55:35 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Steely Tom

So the racist Chinese have allied themselves with the racist blacks of Zimbabwe. Birds of a feather.


33 posted on 03/02/2014 1:49:44 PM PST by Amberdawn
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To: Rusty0604

China can have it...


34 posted on 03/02/2014 9:40:31 PM PST by Cronos (Obama’s dislike of Assad is not based on Assad’s brutality but that he isn't a jihadi Moslem)
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