Curiously, the Chinese appear to be doing anything but not interfering. Beijing continues to sustain despotic regimes in Sudan and Zimbabwe; African states signing bilateral agreements with China are required to renounce their allegiance to Taiwan and support the "One China" policy (Malawi is a recent case in point); the 2006 Zambian election hinged on the 'China question,' which Chinese officials threatening to cut diplomatic ties with the country if the opposition candidate, Michael Sata, was elected (he ultimately wasn't); and now the Chinese are making pronouncements on the disadvantage of democracy in Kenya! Non-interference? Please.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
The Chinese government recently released a statement saying that democracy hurts Kenya; this statement coming in light of the recent post-election violence in the country. The irony of this statement is quite fantastic when one considers Chinese claims of "non-interference" in the domestic politics of African - and indeed all other - states.
The BBC reported today that China is sending 5,000 metric tons of food aid to Zimbabwe to help the African nation cope with dire food shortages. According to the UN World Food Programme, poor agricultural policies, a declining economy and poor harvest in 2007 have left the African nation with a 1m ton shortfall.
Shunned by Western leaders and investors, Mugabe's government has turned to Beijing to solve these problems. The two countries established amicable relations in the 1980s, when they both shared the same Marxist ideology (and arguably still do...), and have remained allies ever since. The bond, it would seem, is rooted in a common thinking, one that is based on regime security rather than human security.