GEN­ERAL HITS U.S. IN AFRICA

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

A top Chi­nese de­fense of­fi­cial has ac­cused Wash­ing­ton of be­ing the mas­ter­mind be­hind a con­spir­acy to de­prive Africa of peace and pros­per­ity, and lauded anti-West dic­ta­tors.

Speak­ing April 27 at a ban­quet in Zim­babwe’s cap­i­tal, Harare, Lt Gen. Qi Jian­guo, deputy chief of staff for the People’s Lib­er­a­tion Army, launched a tirade against the United States and praised Zim­babwe’s 90-year-old dic­ta­tor, Robert Mu­gabe. Gen. Qi was the guest of honor for Gen. Con­sta­nine Chi­wenga, chief of the Zim­babwe De­fense Forces (ZDF).

“Gen­eral of­fi­cers and men of China ad­mire ZDF, es­pe­cially your com­man­der-in-chief, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe who has man­aged to stand against Western pow­ers’ machi­na­tions to desta­bi­lize the African con­ti­nent,” Gen. Qi was quoted as say­ing by Zim­babwe’s daily news­pa­per, The Herald.

“Your pres­i­dent is one of the few lead­ers of the likes of Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin and oth­ers who have stood against Western pow­ers,” Gen. Qi said. “Few lead­ers have the courage to stand against the United States of Amer­ica and its al­lies.”

Gen. Qi went on to rel­ish Mr. Putin’s aplomb in Crimea and Pres­i­dent Obama’s dif­fi­culty in deal­ing with the Rus­sian strong­man: “As you are aware on the is­sue of Crimea in Ukraine, Pres­i­dent Putin man­aged to wres­tle with Obama. I once told one USA gen­eral that they should not for­get his­tory where their at­tempts at Rus­sia failed.”

Gen. Qi was in Zim­babwe to sign a se­ries of de­fense projects with the ZDF, in­clud­ing a $4.2 mil­lion “do­na­tion” handed over to Gen. Chi­wenga.

As re­ported by In­side China on March 6, China is poised to es­tab­lish mil­i­tary bases and strongholds in Africa, and Zim­babwe has been cho­sen as one of the first for Chi­nese out­posts in Africa. A Chi­nese air force and radar base al­ready has been op­er­at­ing in Zim­babwe’s Marange re­gion.

In ad­di­tion, Bei­jing has built a Na­tional De­fense Univer­sity for Mr. Mu­gabe in Harare, cost­ing more than $100 mil­lion. The mil­i­tary school is par­tially staffed by Chi­nese and Pak­istani in­struc­tors. diplo­matic pro­to­col by hold­ing an of­fi­cial meet­ing with the son of a for­mer Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party chief in Tokyo.

Mr. Abe’s April 8 meet­ing with Hu Deping, who holds no of­fi­cial ti­tle in China’s govern­ment, took place amid Bei­jing’s cut-off of high-level diplo­matic com­mu­ni­ca­tions with Tokyo, de­spite Ja­pan’s re­quests for re­sum­ing talks.

Mr. Hu is the el­dest son of Hu Yaobang, the re­for­m­minded for­mer party chief whose death on April 15, 1989, helped trig­ger the largest protests in Chi­nese his­tory — which ended with the Tianan­men Square mas­sacre.

The el­der Hu was liked by many Chi­nese re­form­ers and some for­eign lead­ers for his straight­for­ward­ness and push for a more open China. He was purged in 1987 by hard-line forces in­side the Com­mu­nist Party led by Deng Xiaop­ing, and he died in agony two years later.

Hu is re­mem­bered by many Ja­panese lead­ers as be­ing rea­son­able when deal­ing with dif­fi­cult is­sues.

Mr. Hu, the son, is not part of the Chi­nese govern­ment but is said to be close to Supreme Leader Xi Jin­ping.

The con­tents of the Abe-Hu meet­ing were not pub­li­cized, but it is no se­cret that Mr. Abe has wanted to con­vey a mes­sage to Mr. Xi for a bi­lat­eral sum­mit to dis­cuss the im­broglio over the Senkaku is­lands.

Miles Yu’s col­umn ap­pears Fridays. He can be reached at mmilesyu@gmail.com and @Yu_Miles.

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