There have been reports that General Constantino Chiwenga made a visit to China just a short while before the military takeover in Zimbabwe. This happening was noticed in a great way by observers around the globe.
There has also been a lot of speculation regarding a statement made earlier by China. It had said that it was closely watching the political developments in Zimbabwe. It apparently had its own take on President Mugabe’s apparent removal from power.
China is said to have made billions of pounds in terms of investments in Zimbabwe and that ranged from construction to agriculture. One thing that comes out clearly is the fact that Zimbabwe remains a dependent partner. China has over the years provided a large market for the country’s exports as well as the much needed support to its fragile economy.
It goes without saying that Zimbabwe has been enjoying deep relations with China and the start of it all was the period of the Rhodesian Bush War. Robert Mugabe is said to have made attempts to obtain backing from the Soviet Union back in 1979.
It was an exercise of futility and that was how the country resorted to seeking out assistance from China. This was a good turn for the country since it was able to obtain the support it required from China which availed its guerrilla fighters with weapons and training.
The two countries are believed to have formally set in place diplomatic relations at the 1980 Zimbabwean independence. It is said that Robert Mugabe made his visit to Beijing the following year, that time around as the prime minister. Since then he has been a regular visitor to the country.
Mugabe opined, ‘We have turned east, where the sun rises, and given our back to the west, where the sun sets.” The “Look East” era in Zimbabwe witnessed China’s military engagements deepen in a significant way. Numerous significant purchases have been made in the course of time and these included the JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, Hongdu JL-8 jet aircraft, radar and weapons.