Chinese pre-imperial foreign policy


0ld Bob was short in ammunitions – such  a primary ingredient for a hungry country and the illegally delayed 2nd turn of elections. Now he is playing John Wayne with three million rounds of assault rifle ammunition, 3 000 mortar rounds and 1500 rocket-propelled grenades. We read this on today’s Mail&Guardian, Joburg.

Thabo Mbeki, SA President, has always been the only responsible for Robert Mugabe being still in power, his last resort – since when insanity draw Mugabe to destroy the developing Zimbabwean economy.

– Angola is already a Chinese colony, although US military influence is not yet out of the country.

– 1 month ago, acting for intraregional-international class solidarity, Durban dockers and a sentence had kept the deadly cargo on the ship.

– As usual, it is business as usual according to Beijing. Behind such a false mercantilist ideology, the  game rule is imperialism: LET’S HARARE DIE FOR THE SAKE OF BEIJING FUTURE.

Go and see a few drawings by the greatest political satire cartoonist in the world, Zapiro (see our page). On Mugabe and his complices, e.g.:

Zapiro makes better political analyses than most newspaper leaders and political scientists, and has no pity: he was asked in court 10 mn Rands by the next SA President, Jacob Zuma.

Many recent analyses have shown how Mugabe’s psychology went just wrong: the last hypothesis is that he’s driven by envy towards Mandela (Mail & Guardian; Slate). There are solutions for madness; the problem is that, with only two exceptions (Tanzania and SA), the great African Socialist and Pan-africanist State leaders became all lifetime dictators. Even a literate and a poet in Senegal (negritude). Mugabe has lost the elections and goes for a 2nd turn: this is why he needs some young weapon for his veterans.



In the mean time, in Gauteng (Joburg) townships, abandoned by Gods and Govt.s, this week xenophobic riots have exploded, and unfortunately killed 5 poor Zimbabweans (political refugees that would be killed on the border, had they to return home), plus attacked Mozambicans.

PHOTO: Paul Botes, M&G. Residents at the Ramaphosa informal settlement try to salvage building material before the blaze overtakes them on May 20.

Residents at the Ramaphosa informal settlement try to salvage building material before the blaze overtakes them on May 20.

updates (June 3): after BLOODY SUNDAY (May 18th), deads count  became  62. Xenophobia spreads acrss the country. Cape’s Somalis reveal that 600 of them were killed in the last few years !

“I don’t think I’d come back here [South Africa],” said Mr Moyo. “The guns were so explosive, bam bam bam bam. It is better if I am beaten up at home when my family knows where I am. If I am killed here my family will suffer, thinking: ‘Where is he? Why didn’t he come home?’” (FT, May 15)

On this: field interviews in Alexandra’s township in the M&G’s op-eds by  Michael Trapido.

UPDATE (M&G, Capetown, June 3). 

“They are terrorised, they are traumatised … and some of them [can] resort to violence because they think, now, everywhere is violence,” said Somali businessman Hoosein Omar.
The large Somali community in Cape Town, South Africa’s second biggest city and top tourist attraction, has been a particular focus of anger from poorer residents of the city, who accuse the migrants of stealing their jobs.

Hundreds of mostly Somali traders marched to Parliament in Cape Town on Monday to protest against the anti-immigrant attacks.

“We are African. We are from this soil. I am not a foreigner … and this soil is Africa,” Abdul Kadir Karakoos, a Somali leader in Cape Town, told reporters.
He said 600 Somalis had been killed in anti-immigrant violence in South Africa since 2002.
More than 50 000 Mozambicans and Zimbabweans have returned home because of the unrest, which has now subsided.
The violence started in a Johannesburg township on May 11 before spreading to other cities, with mobs wielding machetes and axes, driving foreigners from their homes.


Controversial Chinese arms arrive in Harare

Johannesburg, South Africa
17 May 2008 14:30
A controversial shipment of arms from China and destined for Zimbabwe has arrived in Harare, the Weekender newspaper reported on Saturday — apparently thanks to assistance by the South African government. The report said the Zimbabwean government had confirmed that three million rounds of assault rifle ammunition, 3 000 mortar rounds and 1 500 rocket-propelled grenades — ordered from the Chinese government — had arrived in Harare. The South African government has denied media reports that it assisted in the delivery of the arms by fuelling the Chinese vessel, the An Yue Jiang, that was transporting the arsenal. There are fears that President Robert Mugabe is planning to use force to storm back to power in Zimbabwe’s presidential run-off election to be held on June 27. He has deployed the army, police and intelligence units across Zimbabwe to campaign for him through intimidation and coercive tactics, the report said. The Weekender quoted a Mozambican online newspaper, Canal de Moçambique, which reported that the ship had been refuelled by the SAS Drakensberg off the coast of South Africa before sailing north to offload its deadly cargo. It reported that the ship was offloaded at Ponta Negra in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Zimbabwean government officials said it was offloaded in Angola. Canal de Moçambique reported that President Thabo Mbeki gave “a direct instruction” to Deputy Defence Minister Mluleki George to send the SAS Drakensberg to refuel the An Yue Jiang. Presidential spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga dismissed the reports, saying “it seems that the season of propaganda is upon us”. George said he had not received instructions from Mbeki to dispatch the SAS Drakensberg and that the allegations had no substance. However, the Canal de Moçambique article also said the arms were flown to Harare in an Ilyushin Il-76 belonging to Avient Aviation, a freight charter airline based in Zimbabwe but registered in the United Kingdom. This was confirmed by government officials in Harare, the Weekender said. Zimbabwe’s Deputy Information Minister, Bright Matonga, confirmed the weapons had been delivered. The Angolan government’s assistance came after an appeal by Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa to member states to bar the delivery of the ammunition to Zimbabwe, saying the arms could deepen the country’s election crisis. The United States and British governments had also exerted concerted pressure on the SADC and China to stop the ship from docking in the region. The ship has been spotted off the coast of Port Elizabeth, the Weekender said. — Sapa


Africa must be more hard-nosed with China

05 May 2008
A shipment of weapons from China destined for Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is an obvious cause for the West to denounce Beijing’s involvement in Africa.   

Delivery of Weapons to Zimbabwe Thwarted

Southern African Nations Keep Chinese Ship From Unloading

Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, April 23, 2008; Page A12

JOHANNESBURG, April 22 — A Chinese ship carrying weapons and ammunition for Zimbabwe’s military may be headed back home, reports said, after repeated attempts to deliver its cargo were frustrated by a coalition of legal activists, union workers and human rights groups.

The region’s resistance to the shipment, which drew praise from the United States on Tuesday, marks a dramatic turn from southern Africa’s traditional embrace of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and its reverence for national sovereignty.

It also signals the strength of South Africa’s mounting backlash against President Thabo Mbeki‘s traditionally deferential dealings with Mugabe. The resistance from union workers, almost all of whom are members of his African National Congress, was decisive in preventing the ship from unloading its cargo of bullets and mortars on schedule.

The 489-foot An Yue Jiang was near the Cape of Good Hope on Tuesday night, headed northwest at a modest speed, according to Lloyd’s Marine Intelligence Unit, based in London. But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said that because the shipment could not be unloaded, despite being part of a “perfectly normal trade,” the cargo would probably return to China. Jiang added that she hoped the incident would not be “politicized.”

(…) A court in Durban, South Africa, where the ship initially docked, blocked its unloading in a temporary order that rights activists are seeking to make permanent. Union workers have been at least as crucial in hindering delivery.

Zim arms ship heads for Angola, says Mozambique

19 April 2008
A Chinese ship carrying arms to Zimbabwe, which was turned away from South Africa, is heading to Angola in hopes of docking there, the transport minister of Mozambique said on Saturday. The ship left South African waters on Friday after a court refused to allow the weapons to be transported across South Africa.