Monday, April 21, 2008

Africans Waking Up to Chinese Neocolonialism

Good to see that people are paying attention to China somewhere. If you've been paying attention to what's been going on in Zimbabwe, you already know that Robert Mugabe is a thug dictator - and an incompetent one at that - who blames
everything but his own despotism for his administration's land grabs and 100,000% inflation (yes, you read that right). And recently, there was an election, which despite Mugabe's best efforts to rig it, his party lost (surprise!) The aftermath for Zimbabweans hasn't been fun, but so far his predictable refusal to relinquish power hasn't turned into an all-out civil war, which is what many were fearing. The last thing people in that country need is someone showing up with a boatload of weapons to stoke the fire.

Not surprisingly, that doesn't stop China. And where there's a brutal, incompetent dictator looking for support for his regime, China is never far away. Zimbabwe is land-locked, which has so far been fortunate for the people of Zimbabwe - because the Chinese can't ship weapons directly to Zimbabwe. They were sent to South Africa, to be shipped over land. Sorry China - South African port workers in Durban refused to unload the cargo when it arrived.

The outrage for China's ham-handed interference in another country's affairs soon spread to the government of South Africa, and before long a South African high court had not only ordered the ship not to unload, but ordered that it doesn't go anywhere else. But hey - the rule of law has never been a concern for the Chinese government, right? The article explains:

Lawyers were told by the court's sheriff that when an attempt was made to serve the order on the ship, the vessel was already sailing away, she said. She said other sources had confirmed the ship was headed for Mozambique, which lies on landlocked Zimbabwe's eastern border.

The Chinese government isn't soon going to wake up to the idea that its own economic health has nothing to do with interference with other countries - especially when the whole world is watching. So for the sake of Zimbabwe, and democracy everywhere, I hope people in Mozambique make the same decision the South Africans did. IF IT'S BAD FOR THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT, IT'S GOOD FOR EVERYONE ELSE.

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