Robert Mugabe, Friend of China

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in ,, at 4/23/2007 01:59:00 AM
China has tried to meet its voracious appetite for natural resources by hooking up with regimes considered toxic in the west. Iran, Sudan, Myanmar...the list grows longer. Here's the latest in a long line of friends with dubious histories, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, #7 on Parade's 2007 list of the World's Worst Dictators. To no one's surprise, state media has made no mention at all of his rather colorful history or the current state of Zimbabwe after twenty-seven years of (mis)rule:
Top Chinese Political advisor Jia Qinglin said here Saturday that China will work with Zimbabwe to deepen bilateral reciprocal cooperation in economy, trade and other fields.

Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, made the remarks at a meeting with Zimbabwean President Robert Gabriel Mugabe...

After the meeting, Jia and Mugabe attended a signing ceremony for four bilateral cooperation documents including an economic and technical cooperation agreement between the two governments.

They also attended the handover ceremony of Chinese agricultural machinery and equipment.

Parade supplies a few key the details that Xinhua glosses over regarding Mr. Mugabe:

Robert Mugabe once was hailed as a symbol of the new Africa, but under his rule the health and well-being of his people have dropped dramatically, which is as much an abuse of human rights as arbitrary arrest and torture. According to the World Health Organization, Zimbabwe has the world’s shortest life expectancy—37 years for men and 34 for women. It also has the greatest percentage of orphans (about 25%, says UNICEF) and the worst annual inflation rate (1,281% as of last month). He last allowed an election in 2002 but “won” only after having his leading opponent arrested for treason.