China Is to Withdraw Backing for Mugabe – Richard Spencer

The Chinese government has announced plans to drop all support for Zimbabwe, except humanitarian assistance, in an effort to tone down its support for dictatorial regimes:

Robert Mugabe is to lose vital support from one of his few remaining allies on the world stage, China.

One of the Zimbabwe president’s oldest diplomatic friends, China yesterday told Lord Malloch Brown, the Foreign Office minister, that it was dropping all assistance except humanitarian aid.

President Mugabe was given a warm welcome in Beijing two years ago by President Hu Jintao. But attitudes have changed

The move follows a decision by China, a permanent member of the United Nations security council, to work more closely with the international community in bringing pressure to bear on “rogue regimes”. It represents a major shift in its previous policy of refusing to attack the internal policies of long-standing allies. [Full text]

See also an AP story on the complexities of the China-Africa relationship.

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