China and Africa: Growing Pains

Christopher Herwig / REUTERS

WELCOME: Liberians await Hu Jintao's visit in 2007

As the political crisis in Zimbabwe spirals into bloodshed and chaos, its ruler, Robert Mugabe, seems to have endless tricks up his sleeve. Already he has stalled an election after probably losing the first round, used the state-controlled press to divert attention to the chronic issue of land control, and apparently had thugs beat opposition supporters. But one of his strategies seems likely to fail. In mid-April, South Africa's Transport Workers Union refused to unload a shipment of Chinese arms destined for Zimbabwe.

As this aborted arms shipment suggests, China's African honeymoon appears to be over. When President...

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