More on China-Zimbabwe (which I’m writing about at the moment for a publication). I was just looking over two articles, and noticed a strange coincidence:
From February 21, 2010:
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara says the Chinese want all loans to be repaid before loosening its purse. According to the Mutambara the Chinese President Hu Jintao revealed to him during a brief meeting at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that he considers Beijing relationship with Harare as ’business partners’ and not ’friends’.
The Chinese are quoted telling the Mr. Mutambara that: “We’ll not condemn you publicly but we’ll not give you cash”. And according to the Deputy Prime Minister, “unless we do the right thing the Chinese will not work with us.”
From February 9, 2010:
Zimbabwe passed a law that compels all businesses with assets worth more than $500,000 to be 51 percent black-owned within five years, according to a copy of the law distributed by Harare-based Veritas Trust.
The law was published in the Government Gazette, a public document. It comes into effect March 1 and stipulates prison sentences of up to five years for non-compliance. Veritas is a Harare-based non-governmental organization that monitors the passage of laws through parliament and their publication.
Oh wait, that’s probably not a coincidence at all.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I have recently spoken to people from Huadian Power who said that after the passage of the February law they lost interest in investing in the country. That doesn’t really explain why the agricultural investments seem to still be going on, but China was obviously not pleased about having their investments redistributed.