Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who ran Mr. Mugabe’s violent re-election campaign last year, was himself leading a delegation of officials from the governing party, ZANU-PF, in Beijing on Tuesday. An official in China’s Politburo assured the delegation that China’s longstanding policy of investing in Zimbabwe was unchanged.
“We will encourage and facilitate more Chinese companies to seek development in Zimbabwe,” said Zhou Yongkang, the Politburo member.
China and Zimbabwe have been close since Beijing supported Mr. Mugabe’s military campaign against white rule in the 1970s. In recent years, China has helped prop up the country’s economy as other foreign investors fled. Chinese firms have contributed, sold or bartered arms, airplanes, buses, hydroelectric generators and other goods to Zimbabwe, including equipment to eavesdrop on telephone conversations. China also supplied an elaborate blue tile ceiling for Mr. Mugabe’s mansion in Harare, the capital.