Zimbabwe’s future: Made in China – Michael Wines
From the New York Times, via the International Herald Tribune:
Shunned by Western leaders and investors for his government’s human rights policies, Zimbabwe has begun a determined campaign to hitch its plummeting fortunes to China’s rising star.
Mugabe calls the policy “Look East” and has relentlessly promoted it as another way to thumb Zimbabwe’s nose at its old colonial ruler, Britain, and Britain’s allies, like the United States. The sheer intensity of the pro-China drive has stirred resentment among average Zimbabweans and raised eyebrows among the elite, some of whom question whether Mugabe is simply replacing British political domination with a more up-to-date Asian economic rule.
But it is a hand-in-glove fit for the Chinese, who are steadily extending their political and economic influence across Africa, particularly in regions rich in oil and minerals.