China courts the lovable Robert Mugabe

Sometimes you get judged by the company you keep, and if China is treally trying to clear up its image problem, Mugabe is the wrong one to be hanging out with.

Riot police turned an urban township into a ghost town yesterday, rounding up the last residents in defiance of a U.N. call to halt a demolition campaign that has left 700,000 without homes or jobs.

After emptying the Porta Farm township — where 30,000 people lived just days ago — earthmovers were seen lumbering into the area to finish clearing debris from destroyed homes, cabins and shacks as part of what the government calls Operation Drive Out Trash. Police armed with batons and riot shields barred aid workers and residents from entering.

The latest demolitions came as President Robert Mugabe paid a state visit to China, which is building a track record of willingness to do business with African leaders others shun.

In a meeting with the country’s No. 2 leader, Wu Bangguo, Mugabe paid tribute to China as a “great friend, historical friend, brotherly friend.”

Mugabe is confident China will use its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to protect Zimbabwe from any censure following the U.N. report denouncing the campaign as a violation of international law, a state-owned Harare newspaper, the Herald, reported yesterday.

China, which has expanded business and diplomatic contacts in African trouble spots such as Congo and Sudan, has not joined Western condemnation of Zimbabwe’s human-rights record.

In fact, China has become a key source of loans and supplies for Zimbabwe. Most recently, Beijing agreed to a loan to expand a power station and supply a third Chinese-made MA60 commercial aircraft to Zimbabwe, state media in Beijing announced yesterday.

It’s almost as bad as freedom-loving Bush courting Uzbekistan and Pakistan. But at least in those cases Bush can hide behind a cloak of respectability, because, after all, we’re only cozying up with them because they’re helping with our so-called war on terror. In the case of China and Russia and Zimbabwe, it’s just about money, plain and simple, the people be damned.

The new PR team had better get a move on with those image ads.

Update: I see that Will has covered this already, very well.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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The Discussion: 59 Comments

I have read quite a few articles about Mugabe and China from Guardian (my favourite), BBC and others.

Of course they all appear understandably sarcastic. (Mugabe is Professor now)

I’m simply amazed by both China’s audacity and the West’s inability on this issue, which should be a wake-up call for them. Sometimes the devlopment of such events really made me laugh.

If you don’t regard China fairly, don’t expect China to play your rule.

China needs resources. There is a trend now that the West is building a barrier to China’s efforts to acquire resources.

From Canada to Middle east to America, the West endeavor to hinder China’s economic involvement.

So what do you expect China to do?

If these democratic developed Countries don’t trade fairly with us, you don’t have a say on how we trade with others.

Yuan pegging to US… blah blah, oh yeah, stop please, too much has been said on that.

July 28, 2005 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

it’s just about money, plain and simple, the people be damned

And of course when the west supported for decades the brutal white minority rule in Zimbabwe, it was out of some higher moral and altruistic motivation. But when China builds hospitals, power stations, schools, roads, and other infrastructure, it’s all out of greed.

July 28, 2005 @ 4:56 pm | Comment

Bing,

We can’t do anything to Mugabe because he’s an AFRICAN! And we can’t criticise Africans because of slavery, etc……..

The fact that Mugabe has to make deals with Beijing because he is so ostracised sadly reflects badly on China. The US & UK has been criticised for going into Iraq, but I don’t think any Chinese people can lecture us about foreign policy now. They stopped the UN taking action over Darfur and now they’re trying to sabotage any attempts to deal with Mugabe.

God preserve us if China ever gets superpower status……

July 28, 2005 @ 4:58 pm | Comment

Richard points out in the post several of the US’ recent foreign policy sins. But this doesn’t excuse China when they do the same, all realpolitik aside.

Mugabe has taken what could have been an African success story and utterly ruined the country. It’s a tragedy.

July 28, 2005 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

Mugabe has taken what could have been an African success story and utterly ruined the country. It’s a tragedy.

Mugabe certainly has his faults, but how much has western sanctions contributed to Zimbabwe’s economic problems? Are western economic sanctions going to be more helpful than Chinese aid in improving the situation in that country?

July 28, 2005 @ 5:38 pm | Comment

Hui Mao, I will look into this more thoroughly when I get home, but I don’t believe that Western sanctions are the primary cause of Zimbabwe’s woes. Blame massive incompetence, corruption and political repression. There was a lot of optimism when “Rhodesia” became “Zimbabwe” and a lot of good will. Mugabe has squandered all of that, and worse.

July 28, 2005 @ 5:59 pm | Comment

Sorry, Hui Mao. Zimbabwe’s problems are home grown. You’re right that China’s not doing anything different from what the US has done with many previous convenient dictators. But I’m disappointed when the US does this sort of thing as well. Mugabe is a monster. End of story.

On the other hand, the point about seeking alternatives as the US blocks Chinese moves to acquire commercial energy resources is good. But I don’t think China would have steered away from Mugabe even if, for instance, the Unocal acquisition had gone brilliantly. (Among other things, I’m not sure oil is the resource at stake in Zimbabwe; more likely mineral ores.)

July 28, 2005 @ 6:04 pm | Comment

The sanctions were not put in place because the West hates Zimbabwe, but because of Mugabe’s farm redistribution policies, which caused the country to have to import food to avoid mass starvation. If anything, Chinese “aid,” which includes supplying Mugabe’s air force and riot police, will only aggravate the situation.

July 28, 2005 @ 6:06 pm | Comment

“but I don’t think any Chinese people can lecture us about foreign policy now. They stopped the UN taking action over Darfur and now they’re trying to sabotage any attempts to deal with Mugabe.”

We don’t bother lecutring anyone as long as others don’t try to lecture us.

Who cares if US invades any countries?

It’s US always meddling in our own affair.

In terms of sanction, Why should we obey you rules when we were and are still the victim of various sactions imposed by your country?

Tell me how many people Mugabe has killed? More than US has killed in Iraq?

People in big cities of China, and recently India, have their houses demolished too. Why don’t your country imposes sactions on China and India for that reason?

Have a look at the following link. Don’t be naive, wake up!!!

http://www.ipsterraviva.net/tv/wsf2005/Voices/viewstory.asp?idnews=165

July 28, 2005 @ 6:16 pm | Comment

“but because of Mugabe’s farm redistribution policies, which caused the country to have to import food to avoid mass starvation. ”

farm redistribution incurs sanctions which aggravate the food shortage.

The West wants Mugabe to pay for the claim of lands from the white.

No one asks you not to do business with Mugabe. You choose not to yourselves.

You just want to turn Zimbabuwee to another Iraq and Mugabe to another Sadam by imposing the sanctions to punish their disobedience.

What China has done is far better than those superpowers throughout history.

July 28, 2005 @ 6:27 pm | Comment

Bing, do you really think we want to turn Zimbabwe into another Iraq? Really? Come on, you’re smarter than that. The guy is a piece of shit, like the monster who rules Uzbekistan. I don’t want to see anyone supporting these monsters, and nothing is more heartbreaking than watching Bush dancing with the devil in the name of “freedom.” To hell with him, and to hell with those who dance with Mugabe.

July 28, 2005 @ 6:34 pm | Comment

Here’s the difference. Is Zimbabwe more likely to be a democracy being influenced by China/Russia or US/UK? Uzbekistan, which is cozying up to China and Russia? Pick any nation. You know the answer. And that’s the difference. There is no moral equivalence.

July 28, 2005 @ 6:53 pm | Comment

Richard,

I was trying to say, the UK (yes, this time UK) is trying to make Zimbabwe a pariah and Mugabe a devil, like what US did to Iraq and Sadam.

I’m not saying Mugabe is not evil. The thing is that he is probably not worse than many of African or other countries’ leaders.

The fatal “error” he made is the land redistribution that enraged UK, like Sadam invading Kuwit and using Euro for oil trade that enraged US.

The land redistribution is more about politics than economy.

That is the root reason why UK and other west countries are determined to overthrow Mugabe.

I doubt the opposition party has nothing to do with those west governments.

They might be partly to blame for the enforcement of demolition scheme.

Who knows? I don’t. All guess.

Thanks

July 28, 2005 @ 6:56 pm | Comment

Thanks for clarifying. As for Mugabe’s “errors,” I prefer to put them in the category of “sins.”

July 28, 2005 @ 6:59 pm | Comment

“Here’s the difference. Is Zimbabwe more likely to be a democracy being influenced by China/Russia or US/UK? Uzbekistan, which is cozying up to China and Russia? Pick any nation. You know the answer. And that’s the difference. There is no moral equivalence.”

Yes, we Chinese have no moral base to do business with you civilized. We’d better have some wisdom to know ourselves and pal up with degraded countries like Zimbabwe.

That’s what’s happening.

July 28, 2005 @ 7:01 pm | Comment

“I prefer to put them in the category of “sins.”"

That’s of course sin for the evicted white.

But for many zimbabwean, I don’t know. Do they have right to claim their ancesters’ lands?

Too complicated for me to understand.

July 28, 2005 @ 7:04 pm | Comment

Bing, Will’s post on this (linked at the end of Richard’s post) is really good. Have a look.

July 28, 2005 @ 7:18 pm | Comment

and as a p.s., Bing – Mugabe’s latest act of “leadership” has been to evict tens of thousands of very poor Zimbabweans – Black Africans – from the cities, where they earned a marginal living but a living, more or less. Now they are supposed to return to their native villages…and do what? Starve, apparently.

July 28, 2005 @ 7:24 pm | Comment

Thanks, Lisa (and Richard for the link).

Also worth checking out is a Reuters story on Zimbabwean reaction to the deal. An eye opener:

http://tinyurl.com/857rj

Bing: I totally understand your point of view. The thing that I ask is that you don’t confuse our personal points of view with the US government’s. We’re Americans, but we are equally ready to call the US to account for the awful things it does, including the miserable war in Iraq and its history of close relations with vile dictators (including Saddam Hussein and Mugabe’s continental comrade, the indescribably vile Mobutu Sese Seko of Congo, nee Zaire).

I have great sympathy for the Zimbabwean people, but I think Mugabe is a creep. I know why China is pursuing a relationship with him, but that won’t stop me from criticizing. If you think that’s hypocritical, then that’s your right.

July 28, 2005 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

Your’re right it’s too complicated to judge him as a monster, and to add to the complication, a significant number of the posters here are living in lands taken from the native people.

The only difference between the natives of America and Australia is that the native zimbabweans have the power to take it all back. The status quo is more acceptable to westerners because it is is aligned with our values, we don’t know how much a native would give up to get their land back.

July 28, 2005 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

Zimbabwe’s land resettlement isn’t an act of nobility, it’s an act of political patronage and bottom-feeding. Even if the goal of land restoration was laudable (debatable), the execution destroyed Zimbabwe’s economy from the inside out, left the farm’s mostly Zimbabwean employees jobless and plunged the nation into hunger.

Added to that, Mugabe has stolen two elections from his Zimbabwean opponents and turned his political party into a tool of political thuggery.

I’m sorry, this isn’t about white confusion over restoration of native lands. That doesn’t hold up. It’s about a bad ruler destroying the livelihoods of his people in the pursuit of his own power and cloaking that in a veneer of nobility.

July 28, 2005 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

Sure, it was a bad way to do it, he is playing with the lives of his people, that is a common sin of many governments.

The questions is, do our sanctions help the situation for the average zimbabwean or are we just trying to stick it to Mugabe?

It is only marginally better for us to play with the lives of zimbabweans using sanctions. At the moment we are playing eye for an eye.

July 28, 2005 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

Sanctions hardly ever work that I know of.

July 28, 2005 @ 8:07 pm | Comment

Speaking of people living on land taken from aboriginals, I wonder why in China, all the best land is occupied by Han and minorities live in isolated, barren areas? Surely it isn’t because they’ve always preferred it that way? Taking Taiwan for an example, I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the aboriginals have been living there much longer than Han Chinese. How is it that the aboriginals are now a minority when they were not before? And how happy are the aboriginals with the Chinese, who now claim that it all belongs to them?

July 28, 2005 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

The key here is the position of other african countries. Apparently most, if not all, african country did not join western country on sactions. That just tells you how popular the position of western countries is.

Western country support apartheid for so many years until early 1980s. Wow, they suddenly had a change of heart.

The game played by the west is to rob people’s property and then claim, let’s have peace and respect property rights. How do you feel if you are at the other side of the table?

July 28, 2005 @ 8:18 pm | Comment

Steve, public pressure from average Western citizens appalled by the Apartheid regime helped to sway the policies of Western governments that had previously supported it.

The isn’t a Western vs. Asian game. Asians -and Africans and everyone else- all have spectacular histories of invading each other, siezing land, and driving out previous inhabitants. Welcome to humankind. That Europe managed to do this at a somewhat more global scale is true, but it is a difference of scale rather than morality. Reliance on this western demonization is intellectually weak and won’t wash. It’s just an easy way to try to deflect criticism, and its been tried by many people (including equally weak reverse application by westerners).

Now, the issue of sanctions is different. Whether or not there is any point in putting sanctions on Zimbabwe is quite worth debating, as is whether or not those sanctions do more damage to average Zimbabweans than to the rulers.

But one can also argue that African nations, many of which want to cover up their own failings, are all too ready be complacent in the face of Mugabe’s brutality. The shame is that they are probably the nations in the best position to achieve some kind of constructive progress.

July 28, 2005 @ 8:29 pm | Comment

And how does Mugabe’s evicting poor BLACK Africans from the cities fit into this neat paradigm of driving out foreign oppressors?

Sorry, it doesn’t.

I quite agree with Will that the effectiveness of sanctions is a good question to debate. And I’ll bet you that the majority of monies coming into Zimbabwe from China are going to end up in the pockets of Mugabe and his cronies.

I too have consistently condemned the actions of my government that I think are wrong, immoral and plain stupid. I’m just trying to be even-handed here…

July 28, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Many democratic countries have also had campaigns to evict squatters and take down shanty towns. Even in the US, many cities and towns have ordinances designed to get rid of the homeless. The problem is of course a lot worse in Zimbabwe because there are a lot more poor people.

BTW, Mugabe’s strongest supporter internationally is not China, but democratic South Africa with which it shares a common history of apartheid and white minority rule.

July 28, 2005 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

Steve is correct in pointing out that other African nations have not supported the sanctions. I don’t see how is this covering up their own failings. The fact that norway was present during the elections as an observer shows that not being so pigheaded may help the situation in the future.

Bringing a country out of depression is difficult, add to that an influx of peasants from the country and I am not sure if western values can be directly applied to this situation, it has been a long time since we were in that situation.

It is not a neat paradigm of mugabe driving out white oppressors, it is a difficult problem that China and India also face regarding the distribution of wealth and a huge influx of peasants from the countryside. From the article Bing posted it seems that India is has similar ideas to Mugabe. China also has massive restrictions on where citizens can move to live.

Does anyone have a good explanation as to why they are trying to prevent the slums?

July 28, 2005 @ 11:59 pm | Comment

“BTW, Mugabe’s strongest supporter internationally is not China, but democratic South Africa with which it shares a common history of apartheid and white minority rule.”

But in the West media, the impression you got is that the only “ally” Mugabe has got is China. And China is the only reason why Mugabe is still alive.

July 29, 2005 @ 12:46 am | Comment

The urban slums are strongholds of support for the MDC, Mugabe’s political opposition.

Bezz, to defend China’s government (a position I don’t often take), they are pursuing policies that are creating wealth for a fairly large portion of the population. Mugabe is pursuing policies that create wealth more or less exclusively for his political cronies. And that destroy wealth for everyone else.

My remark on African governments covering up their failings didn’t refer to sanctions, it referred to their endorsement of Mugabe’s thoroughly crooked election (his second in a row). South Africa aside, the continent isn’t known for strong, participatory government.

I get very tired of the “western values” argument because it is so often used as a patronizing saw to dismiss incompetence, corruption or dictatorship. The west is as thoroughly capable of venality as anywhere else, I think we agree. And the east (or whatever isn’t Europe and North America, to be more precise) is as thoroughly capable of democracy, well-run economics and sound policy making. It’s not a matter of cultural values. It’s a matter of power, and how it is applied.

July 29, 2005 @ 12:49 am | Comment

Bing:
It was not the “West” how made Mugabe or Sadam a pariah, but they themselves by what they did. It’s as easy as that.

And please also don’t confuse the racism that is going on here. This time it’s not the bad white people who are the racists, but Mugabe how is using prejudices and racist sentiments for his personal political agenda and by that ruining his country.

You are sometimes a little inconsistent in your argumantation. On the one side you claim the right for China to do whatever it wants in the name of national interests leaving morals behind.

But then you still say things like:
“What China has done is far better than those superpowers throughout history.”

So China still is morally superior, doing realpolitics with Chinese characteristics or what?
Something like compassionate Realpolitik?

Your most briliant piece of dialectics is this one about the opposition:
“They might be partly to blame for the enforcement of demolition scheme.”

Aha, here is the old theme: “it’s the victims how are the guilty ones, they provoced it. We only defended ourselves. Oh, it was terrible”
Come on do you realy believe in this?

July 29, 2005 @ 12:53 am | Comment

Bing & Hui Mao,

Why are you trying to defend Chinese foreign policy? I don’t think US/UK foreign policy is perfect, so why do Chinese like you immediately get defensive? Can’t China take the moral high-ground for once? Every time I see China “reserve the right” to treat with monsters like Mugabe I feel less and less inclined to support it in badgering Japan over its past. You can’t criticise other countries for their past/current actions as if you’re a paragon of virtue and then get into bed with every tinpot dictator and autocracy just to get their resources.

No, actually, we know that the African countries back him. And that’s part of the shame. Because our politicians ar trying to argue Africa is worth extra funding and debt relief. But despite UN condemnation and reports by NGOs like Amnesty International, etc Africa still backs him because they’re all rose-tinted glasses over the past. Interestingly enough, members of the South African ruling party has recently been expressing a desire at moving towards “a government of unity” – ie establishing an effective one party state. Is it surprising people like that back Mugabe?

Zimbabwe’s economic crisis is homegrown. It started when Mugabe started redistributing land. In a stroke he increased unemployment (native Africans were employed on the farms), reduced food production and increased inflation. Britain actually offered money to help make the land distribution more ordered and to stop the violence. Native Africans were being attacked as well. But what did Mugabe do? He signed the documents, made the right noises…… and then continued on his merry way.

We’ve tried to negotiate with Mugabe. But he continues to attack the political opposition. He also attacks trade unions because they can organise support against him. He’s grabbed control of the courts and now he’s destroying the homes of opposition supporters SO THAT THEY DON’T HAVE AN ADDRESS WHERE THEY CAN REGISTER TO VOTE. Do you guys understand that? Anyone with a basic understanding of democracy would realise that.

Mugabe has not built any new homes, nor is he giving any food to the new camps that have strung up in the ashes of the shanty towns. He has made 700,000 people homeless and affected a total of 2.4 million people according to the UN report. This is not some simple clear-up of slum housing.

July 29, 2005 @ 5:48 am | Comment

“we know that the African countries back him. And that’s part of the shame”

The countries who impose saction today are the same countries who support apartheid vehemently.

The countries who reject sactions are the same countries who oppose apartheid vehemently.

From that perspective, China’s dealing with Mugabe should not damage China’s image in Africa. China’s image is western countries is shitty anyway.

” Every time I see China “reserve the right” to treat with monsters like Mugabe I feel less and less inclined to support it in badgering Japan over its past. ”

Sounds like that your judgement from your high moral standard can be a trade.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:24 am | Comment

America never “supported apartheid vehemently.” Like the CCP’s human rights abuses, it was something America accepted but it was taught in the schools as one of the earth’s great evils, and there were frequenrt marches and demonstrations against it. I’d like to see how many Chinese are being organized bthe CCP to demosntrate against Mugabe’s cruelties.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:33 am | Comment

And I should add that Britain opposed apartheid vehemently as well. We led the world in isolating countries like Rhodesia and South Africa.

You should get your facts right before making ill-informed, biased comments. But then again, that’s what you’re always like steve so it doesn’t surprise me.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:46 am | Comment

Peter

“Speaking of people living on land taken from aboriginals, I wonder why in China, all the best land is occupied by Han and minorities live in
isolated, barren areas?”

Similar phenomenon exists in Britain. When Anglo-Saxon tribe migrated to Britain Islands, They took the better land of Britain, drove the original Celtic tribe to more isolated, barren areas.

It is noble cause to champion for human right and human justice. But it is unnecessary to “look for bone inside an egg” in order to demonize China.

July 29, 2005 @ 8:05 am | Comment

“America never ‘supported apartheid vehemently.’”

“You should get your facts right before making ill-informed, biased comments. But then again, that’s what you’re always like steve so it doesn’t surprise me.”

Even in 1980s, US government was still against any sanction on South Africa apartheid government, and vetoed the following UN resolutions.

1979 Calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.

1979 Strengthens the arms embargo against South Africa.

1980 Offers assistance to the oppressed people of South Africa and their national liberation movement.

1984 Condemns support of South Africa in its Namibian and other policies.

1984 International action to eliminate apartheid.

July 29, 2005 @ 8:09 am | Comment

Suporting the government of SA is not the same as vehemently supporting apartheid. The US has given aid to China for years and set up all kinds of trade deals. Does that mean we vehemently supported censorship or the shooting of students in Tiananmen Square?

July 29, 2005 @ 8:11 am | Comment

“Suporting the government of SA is not the same as vehemently supporting apartheid. ”

Richard, that is a clever answer. That is a wonderful way to interpret.

Honestly, from the perspective of african people. you think they will agree with me more or agree with you more?

July 29, 2005 @ 8:24 am | Comment

You are really off here. We are supporting Uzbekistan and I hate it, but as much as I hate Bush I cannot honestly say he is vehemently supporting boiling people alive. I can say he is being blind or stupid or hypocriticall but he has never vehemently supported such policies. Tolerated, maybe. But “vehement support” says extraordinary, active support, and if you believe this, you are on a very shaky foundation because you cannort find one shred of proof of such support for the specific evils of apartheid or boiling people alive. Not one. Again, you didn’t respond to my Tiananmen Square analogy. By supporting China on trade, were we vehemently supporting shooting the students? Or were we just being pragmatic and a little selfish (which is what international relations is all about)? Big difference between that and active support for murder.

July 29, 2005 @ 8:32 am | Comment

” Again, you didn’t respond to my Tiananmen Square analogy. ”

Okay, the arms embargo was in place 16 years until today.

What US did for apartheid governemtn? The vetoed

1979 Calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.

1979 Strengthens the arms embargo against South Africa.

“Tolerated, maybe. But “vehement support” says extraordinary, active support, and if you believe this, you are on a very shaky foundation because you cannort find one shred of proof of such support for the specific evils of apartheid or boiling people alive.”

So, what did they need US weapon for? Except for defendin its apartheid system?

July 29, 2005 @ 8:51 am | Comment

The arms embargo was in place but trade fluorished like never before between China and the US even while the arms embargo was in place. Didn’t it?

It’s hard to argue with you Steve.

July 29, 2005 @ 8:54 am | Comment

Steve,

You still haven’t apologised for saying the UK supported apartheid when we didn’t.

Or are you too arrogant to do that?

July 29, 2005 @ 9:12 am | Comment

Raj

“Why are you trying to defend Chinese foreign policy? I don’t think US/UK foreign policy is perfect, so why do Chinese like you immediately get defensive?”

The most defensive are often the most vulnerable. Your countries are superpowers with strongholds in every corner of the world, while China as an emerging “conspicuous” developing country is making enemies everywhere no matter it wants or not. Besides, more than half of your compatriots chose your government and no matter what you think about it, it doesn’t reflect your country as a whole. You don’t like your foreign policy, but your country as a whole supports it.

“Can’t China take the moral high-ground for once? Every time I see China “reserve the right” to treat with monsters like Mugabe I feel less and less inclined to support it in badgering Japan over its past.”

China’s first inititive to acquire mineral resources was aimed at Canada, which simply caused a flood of anti-China outcries and was widely regarded as Red Communists taking over Democratic Canada.

Why China restored to Zimbabuwe? Don’t just blame us, take some responsibility yourself.

“You can’t criticise other countries for their past/current actions as if you’re a paragon of virtue and then get into bed with every tinpot dictator and autocracy just to get their resources.”

If you think what China did in africa is comparable with what Japan did in China, I have nothing to say.

And, we never said we were a paragon of virtue, did we?

It’s your country always branding itself as the greatest democracy and liberty while sleeping with and creating countless devils in this world.

Thanks and regards

July 29, 2005 @ 9:20 am | Comment

“You still haven’t apologised for saying the UK supported apartheid when we didn’t.”

Check http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/aam/dissertation.htm#chap4

“Under the Simonstown agreement Britain was also supplying weapons to the South Africans, although pledging at the UN not to provide weapons which could be used for internal repression. Finally, the perennial “kith and kin” feeling was a further factor bringing Britain and South Africa together.”

July 29, 2005 @ 9:46 am | Comment

steve,

Is that it? One dissertation. Wow I am so impressed, especially that that agreement was made in the 1950s! What about the years following? In any case, if you’re saying that’s evidence Britain supported apartheid then by your own logic, China supports genocide because it stopped the UN from placing sanctions or intervening militarily in Sudan.

July 29, 2005 @ 10:41 am | Comment

Bing,

When the hell did Britain stop China from getting resources in Canada? That’s not our responsibility. It’s a dispute between you and Canada.

More than 50% of Britons did NOT vote Labour. They only got 35.3% of the vote. Turnout was 61.3%, so only 21.64% of the population voted for Blair! That signifies complete apathy with his policies if not acutal hostility towards his actions in Iraq.

I didn’t say China cuddling up to Zimbabwe was as bad as what Japan did to China. Don’t put words in my mouth. I meant that China acts as the poor victim and claims to occupy the moral highground over the war. But over other issues it does as it pleases, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong.

And don’t make China out to be a pathetic victim. Many countries around the world including Britain are happy to trade with China. Thank you for calling Britain a superpower, but you know that’s a load of bs. The only real superpower is America.

Britain isn’t a paragon of virtue and few Britons would say it was. We might have dodgy areas in our foreign policy, but that doesn’t wipe out our good atributes. We are a democracy and that is undeniable. We don’t abuse our citizens like China does and show much more religious, political tolerance etc than China does.

July 29, 2005 @ 10:52 am | Comment

Raj

Sorry I thought you were American.

On this issue, the last thing I could say is: China has a lot of its own internal problems. It will take a long time and a great deal of effort for China to become a both democratic and wealthy country.

Your country, US and other developed countries can do without Sudan or Zimbabwe. You could always trade freely and fairly with others. On the other hand, China can’t. You don’t know how much on earth those trades mean to China, do you?

It’s easy for you to say that China should abondon the trade benefit for the moral sake. Well, it could be such easy as long as you government and other western governments give China an equal trading status.

The result of trading with those pariah countries might have great impact on China’s development. Trade has the top priority for China now.

We’d like to and will pay more attention to the Humanity and Morality when We are as wealthy as your societies.

That’s all, cheers.

July 29, 2005 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

Given the food crisis created by Mugabe, Zimbabwe desperately needs China’s trade. This gives China a certain amount of leverage. If they chose, they could use this leverage to encourage Mugabe to treat his people better and ensure the benefits of trade go to them, rather than cultivating guanxi with him by building him a palace. In other words, if China wanted to adopt a more moral foreign policy and still gain access to Zimbabwe, they could.

LW: You’re absolutely right about the Anglo-Saxons in Britain, most peoples have a history of imposing their wills on weaker races. I simply wanted to make the point that Chinese are as guilty of this as everybody else, as I suspect it’s not something which Chinese history books dwell upon.

July 29, 2005 @ 6:34 pm | Comment

Peter

When we talk about Anglo Saxon migration history in Britain, we just treat it as history fact happened a thousand year ago. We don’t morally judge Anglo Saxon tribe. We don’t encourage Welsh people rebel against British government. We don’t use it as moral argument for what happened in current time. We should treat the history of Han migration to Taiwan or other places to take the land from the minority tribes the same way because it happened several hundreds years ago also.

July 29, 2005 @ 8:23 pm | Comment

Will thanks for your explanation, I am forced to conceede that the demolitions are politically motivated (after more reading).

However I still have strong opposition to the good vs. evil approach.

If Mugabe has such power in Africa and Zimbabwe what are we going to do to remove him, another regime change?

The pragmatic approach has the most potential and China is definately being pragmatic in siding with mugabe. A friend has much more leverage than an enemy.

July 29, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

Given China’s proven human right’s record I’m sure the Chinese will push for some positive change in Zimbabwe……………Get an argument. Please!??

July 30, 2005 @ 7:30 am | Comment

Politically motivated allegations of China’s religious freedom are abundant in the west, promoting westerners like you to “visit churches” in China. The western logic is actually quite simplistic. Since China is considered an evil communistic nation, they must persecute the Christians. As a disguise, the Christian west claims they are also concerned about the freedom of the Muslims or other cults – like the FaLunGong.

However, if you look at the Chinese society, the Muslims are welcomed and deeply integrated into the Chinese society. For example, the only difference between Hui and Han Chinese is Islamic faith; otherwise the two groups are culturally and genetically identical. In sharp contrast, let’s look at the western societies. Muslims are clearly segregated into ghettos, discriminated and harassed; needless to mention the fierce clashes historically. The western reporters and activists are biased politically and religiously.

July 30, 2005 @ 2:54 pm | Comment

Wow, I hope you are joking. Please, tell us you are joking?

July 30, 2005 @ 3:18 pm | Comment

“Since China is considered an evil communistic nation, they must persecute the Christians. As a disguise, the Christian west claims they are also concerned about the freedom of the Muslims or other cults – like the FaLunGong.”

What a logic!

“However, if you look at the Chinese society, the Muslims are welcomed and deeply integrated into the Chinese society.”

This must be joking.

“For example, the only difference between Hui and Han Chinese is Islamic faith; otherwise the two groups are culturally and genetically identical.”

How much do you know about Hui Chinese apart from those around you in big cities?

“In sharp contrast, let’s look at the western societies. Muslims are clearly segregated into ghettos, discriminated and harassed; needless to mention the fierce clashes historically. The western reporters and activists are biased politically and religiously. ”

Are you really defending China or just ridiculing the ignorance of us Chinese?

July 30, 2005 @ 3:30 pm | Comment

And it’s not American Man who is saying this, I think it is someone serious. A person ca’t really be this ignorant, can they?

July 30, 2005 @ 3:38 pm | Comment

That’s not the English of AM, it seems.

July 30, 2005 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

Just a few points. First, Zimbabwe never had any “apartheid” system, which within South Africa was specifically designed to keep the races separate, with the Blacks living in “Bantustans” and the Whites living in the developed areas. Those who would argue about apartheid (and I don’t wish to) should at least find out what it meant, and what the mechanics of its workings were. The Rhodesia of the period was a very different state. Second, the real tragedy of Zimbabwe is that it wasn’t a poor country when Mugabe arrived in power, and for a few years in the wake of that war’s negotiated end, there was real hope that Zimbabwe would develop into multi-ethnic, prosperous state that would shine within a continent of failed states. That hope too has died. It is now just another brutal African dictatorship, and it didn’t have to be that way. At present, it is probably too late to do anything other than lament its failure, and lay the blame at the door of its architect, Robert Mugabe.

August 1, 2005 @ 1:59 am | Comment

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