Zimbabwe’s Enabler: How Chinese Arms Keep Mugabe in Power

For decades, China has been a stalwart ally of Robert Mugabe. This relationship began in the 1970s, when China armed Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) guerrillas against white rule in Southern Rhodesia.[1] Subsequently, it was no surprise when China and Russia vetoed a July 12 United Nations Security Council resolution to sanction Mugabe and key figures in his government for their role in unleashing a campaign of violence and intimidation that forced opposition presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangarai to withdraw from last month’s Zimbabwean run-off election. This incident is only the most recent example of the detrimental role China plays in Africa — and elsewhere — as the protector of despots and enabler of repression. With the 2008 Olympic Games on the horizon, the U.S. should not ignore what is a clear and dangerous trend.

China and Mugabe: A Dismal Pair

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