Posted by: Home Strange Home | July 5, 2009

China Making Loans to Zimbabwe

Tendai Biti, a Finance Minister appointed by Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, claims that China approved $950 million of credit which will be used toward infrastructure projects and commercial investments on the condition that a portion of the money is spent on imported Chinese goods such as fertilizer.

This support from China comes at a time when Western countries have been reluctant to loan the Zimbabwean government money as long as Robert Mugabe remains in power, due to his history of human rights abuses. Currently Morgan Tsvangirai shares power with President Mugabe in a deal brokered between the MDC and ZANU-PF five months ago. Since Mugabe cannot travel to the West because of travel sanctions instituted against him, Tsvangirai was the one to go on a three-week fundraising tour of the US and Europe.

The humanitarian assistance the West has provided to Zimbabwe has been distributed through charities and international organisations, rather than through budget assistance direct to the government. China, on the other hand, often makes loans and grants to Africa that are not conditional on any political, governance, or human rights loans; for this reason, China has recently been undercutting Western development banks on a number of projects.

Source: New York Times.

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