China is once again in the news for playing an important supporting role in continuing instability in Africa. This time for attempting to supply Zimbabwe's renegade Government with a shipload of weapons while that Government refuses to disclose unfavorable election results. Here is a statement that the Chinese have released no the matter:
The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement in a fax to the Reuters news agency saying that China and Zimbabwe have normal trade relations, that the Chinese government takes a "prudent and responsible" position on arms deals and that it does not involve itself in the internal affairs of other countries. - CNN
Prudent and Responsible eh? The trick in being able to say something like that is that they are not being any less 'prudent and responsible' than they normally are at home. Oppression in Tibet? Nope, that is just some more prudent and responsible actions on their part. We in the West just don't recognize it as such. Shame on us. So lets take a look at some other past Prudent and Responsible actions China is and has taken in Africa's recent past
China has emerged as the primary supplier of weapons to the Sudanese government, providing fighter jets and as much as 90% of light weapons used in the conflict. Human rights advocates and opponents of the Sudanese government portray China's role in providing weapons and aircraft as a cynical attempt to obtain oil and gas just as colonial powers once supplied African chieftains with the military means to maintain control as they extracted natural resources. According to China's critics, China has offered Sudan support threatening to use its veto on the U.N. Security Council to protect Khartoum from sanctions and has been able to water down every resolution on Darfur in order to protect its interests in Sudan. - Wikipedia
It was during 1993, in the year that the Arusha Accords were negotiated, that a project began to import into Rwanda a huge number of machetes and other agricultural tools. The purchase of these tools took place in eighteen separate deals, and by companies not usually associated with agriculture; the same companies had made no imports in either 1991 or 1992. As well as machetes they imported razor blades, nails, hoes and axes, screwdrivers, scythes, saws, spades, knives, pliers, pincers, scissors, hammers, and shears. These tools came into the country under government import licenses headed "eligible imports". The overwhelming majority of the tools were imported from China. As an illustration of the sheer volume involved, the total number of machetes imported in 1993 weighed 581.175 kilos and cost US$725.669: there was an estimated one new machete for every third male in the country. - The book "Conspiracy to Murder: The Rwandan Genocide" By Linda Melvern
Of course they only needed enough machetes for a third of the male population given that they were planning to kill off a good portion that wasn't going to get machetes. You might wonder why didn't they import guns instead? Well follow the link and read into the next page which describes how the purchases were paid for with World Bank aid money, which the World Bank never noticed was being so openly diverted until much later on.
Now we have China helping Zimbabwe:
A Chinese cargo ship believed to be carrying 77 tonnes of small arms, including more than 3m rounds of ammunition, AK47 assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, has docked in the South African port of Durban for transportation of the weapons to Zimbabwe, the South African government confirmed yesterday. It claimed it was powerless to intervene as long as the ship's papers were in order.Copies of the documentation for the Chinese ship, the An Yue Jiang, show that the weapons were sent from Beijing to the ministry of defence in Harare. Headed "Dangerous goods description and container packing certificate", the document was issued on April 1, three days after Zimbabwe's election. It lists the consignment as including 3.5m rounds of ammunition for AK47 assault rifles and for small arms, 1,500 40mm rockets, 2,500 mortar shells of 60mm and 81mm calibre, as well as 93 cases of mortar tubes. - Guardian
There are also some reports that armed Chinese soldiers have been spotted in Zimbabwe. They are surely up to no good.
The question is, how long is China going to be allowed to get away with this? This is the kind of world China wants. The rest of the world should forcefully reject their actions. Boycotting the Chinese Olympics is one way to do that.
China Supplying Zimbabwe with a Shipload of Weapons - 18 Apr 08
IOC: We support China's Oppressive Regime, So Should You - 17 March 08
South Africa - Zimbabwe in Slow Motion - 23 Jan 08
Iraq, Zimbabwe, Mexico and Venezuela - 8 Jan 08
Anchor Countries - 27 Sept 07
Iraq, Zimbabwe and Mexico - 21 Sept 07
Why is the UN Pleading for Food for Zimbabwe? - 2 Aug 07
Zimbabwe photos - Land reform - 22 Aug 06