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Vol 4 (AAC) No 6

Published 1st April 2011


Trading partners

New indigenisation rules mean that European mining companies are on the way out while Asian companies are protected by their allies in Harare

Robert Mugabe’s pet policies are souring the milk of friendship he shares with China. Chinese Deputy Premier Wang Qishan visited Harare in late March with a basket of financial support. However, he also called for Chinese investment to be protected from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front’s indigenisation policy, a scheme the President uses to dispense political patronage. China has for some time skilfully exploited the opportunity presented by Mugabe. Chinese Ambassador Xin Shunkang is a suave operator who senses precisely how to flatter Mugabe’s ego with high level visits by Beijing officials including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Deputy Premier Wang Qishan. Each visit trumpets Chinese loans and assistance, but often there is a confusing double count as the same facilities may have been announced by a previous delegation.

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