China has bowed to economic reality and political expediency by calling a halt to aid to Zimbabwe.
One of the few remaining friends to President Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s embattled leader, China has been quietly allowing the relationship to cool over the past few months. But Li Guijin, China’s special envoy for Africa, confirmed yesterday that Beijing had halted development aid. “China’s assistance is mainly humanitarian. In terms of development assistance, we have some difficulties,” he said.
“China in the past provided substantial development assistance but owing to the dramatic currency revaluations and rapid deterioration of economic conditions, the economic outcomes of these projects have not been so good.”
The decision deals a heavy blow to a country where unemployment is 80 per cent, inflation hit 7,600 per cent in July and the value of the Zimbabwean dollar on the black market recently fell to 500,000 to the pound.
Time’s almost up for Mugabe
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