Chinese troops in Zimbabwe
Olympic thugs to protect Mugabe?
Image courtesy of the irrepressible Beau Bo D’or
It is only a matter of a number of days ago when we witnessed the sight of blue track suited Chinese thugs (as described by Lord Coe) pushing their weight about in Downing Street as the Olympic Torch bade a fiery welcome to the UK. Men chosen from the same division of the National People’s Liberation Army that suppressed political protests in Tibet are making sure that the rest of the world doesn’t get too close to the flame that burns in the hearts of the free competitive athletes from around the globe.
These blue suited marathon running highly trained policemen probably know the identities of the Chinese troops who have been reported as being seen on the streets of Mutare in Zimbabwe, after checking into a hotel resplendent with nice shining pistols.
So why are the Chinese there? Have they been sent to protect and supervise the shipment of 77 tonnes of arms that is sitting off the coast of South Africa, waiting for someone to be brave enough to unload it? Are they the vanguard of a larger force that will help keep Harare’s streets quiet while Mugabe and the Zimbabwean electoral commission “officially” fiddle the result of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections?
It worries me that for all intents and purposes the British government appears to sit back and watch whilst Africa becomes an important outpost in the Chinese sphere of influence (just think of Darfur). It worries me too that we should give the Chinese international behaviour and alliances legitimacy by sending our Prime Minister to Beijing to collect the Olympic torch, if the (reputed) world’s fastest growing economy is intent upon the continuing oppression of it’s own, and other nations’ people, then the Prime Minister ought to dither again, and decide to send his Sports Minister to Beijing instead.
Besides, the torch probably has “made in China” stamped on the bottom anyway.