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Chinese Elite Special Forces To Protect Underground Military Base In Zimbabwe: Report

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Chinese Elite Special Forces To Protect Underground Military Base In Zimbabwe: Report

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China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is to station an elite special force in Zimbabwe, according to a report by Spotlight Zimbabwe.

This move is viewed as an attempt by Beijing to increase military cooperation with Harare.

In addition, the Washington-led establishment is concerned with the on-going reports that China also received greenlight to build a secret underground airbase in Zimbabwe. Initial reports of the plans for the base began as early as December 2014.

The elite special force that is allegedly to be stationed would most likely be concerned with protecting the upcoming Chinese military base, as well as its diamond and gold mine claims across the country.

According to another report by Spotlight Zimbabwe, China also placed surface-to-air missile in Zimbabwe.

“This is a very serious and sensitive issue,” an anonymous Asian diplomat was cited back in August 2018. “They (China) are deploying HQ-9 missiles in your country at strategic locations nationwide, and the Zimbabwe military seems to have signed up to the agreement, which will strengthen its ability to defend this country by default with China’s help.”

“The missile system is very advanced and similar to what they are using to protect the South China Sea Islands. This country has become very important to Beijing otherwise, they would not be moving heavy military equipment here. The former leader (Mugabe) was holding back against the idea of strong Chinese military presence in Zimbabwe, but a few months before he was removed from office last year, new and revised military cooperation agreements had been signed, therefore explaining the greenlight given to the deployment of the HQ-9.”

Spotlight Zimbabwe also cited a former minister with a security related portfolio in one of ex-leader President Robert Mugabe’s administrations whose story was also confirmed by unnamed Asian diplomatic sources in South Africa. According to the sources, China has been working on sending the elite special force to Zimbabwe since 2014 “to offer technical assistance and support” to the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), and an agreement was finally reached the following year between the two countries through their defence ministries and army leadership, but Mugabe called it off, after accusing the Chinese of corruption, and the plunder of diamonds in Marange.

Chinese Elite Special Forces To Protect Underground Military Base In Zimbabwe: Report

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Mugabe also allegedly was suspicious of now President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s relationship with China.

“They (China) have been itching to set a permanent military presence in this country, to protect their vast economic interests here but Mugabe was resisting the overtures,” said the anonymous former cabinet minister. “Although the cover argument was around offering technical assistance and support to our armed forces, it later became clear that Mnangagwa had his own agreement and arrangements with China. This infuriated Mugabe, and it was also during the same period Mnangagwa had first travelled to China as vice president, holding high level meetings which his boss had not fully been briefed on. The incident increased Mugabe’s political mistrust for Mnangagwa, whom he suspected was presenting himself to President Xi Jinping, as the best political actor to secure China’s investments in Zimbabwe after he steps down. The rest is history. Mnangagwa has since invited China back to mine diamonds in Marange, and their special force has received the greenlight from vice president Rtd General, Constatino Chiwenga, to find a station in the country. Now there is every reason to believe that Mugabe’s November 2017 ouster, could have been a result of China viewing his stay in power as a threat to their economic investments, especially after having stripped them of diamond mining rights.”

Diplomatic sources said VP Chiwenga was allegedly at the heart of consenting to China bringing in their elite force to set camp in Zimbabwe.

“The main protagonist is your vice president,” said one of the anonymous envoys based in Pretoria. “VP Chiwenga has remained in regular contact with top officials from the People’s Liberation Army. He met with Chinese defence minister in 2015, when he was the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, where stronger cooperation was forged and an agreement signed to have the special force come to Zimbabwe. It also blends well with his ambitions to takeover power, when his time comes. The army unit headed for Zimbabwe comes from China’s special ground force called PLASF (People’s Liberation Army Special Operations Forces).”

Speculations of Chinese influence in the Zimbabwean army was reinforced by a video that circulated in 2018 showing Chinese soldiers singing a native Shona war cry song alongside Zimbabwean soldiers.

China also continues to invest heavily in Zimbabwe, and President Mnangagwa is also supportive of its Belt and Road Initiative.

“In the past, there was the Silk Road, and that to a greater extent did not embrace the entire continent. Zimbabwe was only lucky to the extent that 800 to 1000 years ago there was trade between the Munhumutapa Kingdom and China when we imported porcelain and silk from here and in turn you got our ivory. But today the Road and Belt Initiative has taken everybody on board so that our economies can talk to each other, so that our economies can help each other modernize and mechanize. We are getting connected and benefiting from each other. If you look at the current FOCAC meeting, there are 10 issues that we are going to deal with and these issues are really primary issues that show developing countries like Zimbabwe. The issue of transportation, the issue of infrastructure development in our countries . . . we believe that with this relationship under FOCAC where the rest of Africa is making conversations with China, and China helping Zimbabwe and Africa to go up. And when that happens it creates the integration of marketing in China and Africa so we are happy that we are part of this global vision,” he said.

In 2018, China invested $3 billion in Zimbabwe, this is a relatively small amount compared to what Beijing invests in some other African countries. However, acting Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhao Baogang and Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China Paul Chikawa that this was about to change.

Zhao said the Chinese embassy would ensure that Zimbabwe this time enjoys a significant portion of the US$60 billion which Chinese president Xi Jinping pledged to finance projects in Africa in the form of assistance, investment and loans at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting in Beijing in September 2018.

“This is the year of action by the Chinese government and business here,” Zhao said.

Chikawa said two Chinese companies from Sichuan Province in China have expressed interest in investing in lithium mining. “I am due to meet potential investors from Sichuan province. They are interested in lithium. But in our conversations, I have made it clear that we would rather have the whole value chains. So, I can confirm that my office has been approached in respect of this,” he said.

Two more companies are also planning to invest in mining according to Zhao. Other companies from various sectors are also planning to invest in Zimbabwe, according to the ambassador.

Zimbabwe also announced that it is launching its China Ready Training Programme.

“The training programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry through the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and one of China’s leading experts in market representation, training, audit, promotion and accreditation, Welcome China.”

Speaking at the launch in Harare recently, Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Prisca Mupfumira said tourist arrivals from China had increased tremendously over the years.

“Anyone ignoring China at this moment can do so at their own peril given that the country is now globally acknowledged as a vital source market,” she said.

“On the home front, Zimbabwe tourist arrivals from China grew from 14 407 arrivals in 2017 to 19 428 in 2018. The country is definitely destined for better prospects now that we have taken a giant step as a destination to become China Ready.”

As a result, is no surprise if China does in fact provide some protection for its extensive mining plans in the country.

The US continues to oppose Chinese investments in Africa, calling them predatory and that it is setting a “debt-trap” for countries to fall into.

Beijing (and Moscow) are increasingly assertive and “pose a significant threat to US national security interests” in resource-rich Africa, White House national security advisor John Bolton said in a speech.

Their “predatory practices” stunt economic growth and independence, while hampering US trade and military goals.

Bolton is also trying to gain momentum for his anti-China campaign at the UN, which also involves hampering its movements in Africa.

In addition, General Stephen Townsend, expected to become the new AFRICOM Commander also pitched his plan to counter the Chinese (and Russian) influence in Africa.

According to him, the Chinese efforts to establish a telecommunications infrastructure on the continent are the biggest security threat in the long term.

“China is choosing to compete in Africa and is competing hard there,” Townsend stressed addressing the One Belt/One Road infrastructure investment initiative and Huawei telecommunication efforts, including the G5 network.

The increasing influence of China and Russia in Africa is clear to see, and it is no surprise that the US is keen on stopping it. How that will work out is up to speculation.

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  • verner

    as long it’s not moronistan (aka usa) that is setting up the tent – they’ve ben around africa a long long time and accomplished nothing of value for the indigenous people so, let’s see if the chinese can improve the situation for the locals as part of their stay in africa (which I think will be the case).

  • Tsarski

    Had to laugh when I read this… ” The US continues to oppose Chinese investments in Africa, calling them predatory and that it is setting a “debt-trap” for countries to fall into.” Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    of course the chinese are spoil sports based on uk-usrael mentality since they pay and create actual jobs for the people, instead of bombing them to smithereens and steal all their resources. The worst the chinese are doing is they dont kill civilians and children in the name of national security.

    • John Whitehot

      “The worst the chinese are doing is they dont kill civilians and children in the name of national security”

      Zionists don’t mind killing innocents, as long as they are not jews. Goyims include men, women, children, elder, along with dogs, rats, plants, insects and so on.

      they whine about “killing of civilians” only when it suits the plans of enslavement they have for all of us.

  • Barba_Papa

    The US continues to oppose Chinese investments in Africa, calling them predatory and that it is setting a “debt-trap” for countries to fall into.

    How dare these upstart Chinese use the same methods that the West has been using for more then half a century! Damn those evil Chinese!

    As far as those Chinese HQ-9 missiles, would I be that far of the mark if I said I smell a Chinese knock-off of a Russian design?

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      no you will not be far of the mark. but then the software and radars are chinese own design sort off.

    • John Whitehot

      “predatory”

      aw sheeeeet the megalodon!! we are under attack !!

    • Wolfgang Wolf

      S-300 copy, of course)

    • TiredOfBsToo

      “..the same methods..”

      Not quite. The US brings death and destruction while the Chinese and Russians bring construction.

  • John Whitehot

    “China also received greenlight to build a secret underground airbase”

    secret underground airbases. How can you even think for a moment that you can compete with a country that has learnt to build something like that.

    • John Wallace

      In Rhodesia around 1978 there was lots of talk of 3 secret underground air bases the Americans had built but the only evidence offered was hearsay and reports of the massive quantities of cement produced for the building process. I never came across any credible evidence that supported the rumors and that is what they most likely were. So I find it amusing they are again talking of a secret underground air base which of course the Chinese are capable of doing. Also without Chinese support , arms and training Mugabe would never have been able to fight a war let alone become Prime Minister then president of Zimbabwe. Also his method of fighting was to send as many poorly trained and equipped fighters across the border to eventually numerically swamp Ian Smiths forces no matter how many were killed in the process . I find it amusing he is complaining against his former mentor .

    • FlorianGeyer

      An issue with any ‘secret’ base is that they are all subject to destruction by todays accurate munitions.

      Castles, whether above or below ground are stationary targets that have never fared well in real wars against those who have a similar power.

      An large underground airbase, as was constructed in Soviet territory , never saw action, and it had a large complex of runways that were easily spotted.

      • goingbrokes

        But it takes special effort to attack such a base, pinprick attacks will do nothing. So that means that only a few countries can mount such an attack, and frankly only US would be strong enough to do it and then have any hope of surviving the consequences. Plus, underground bases are useful because the satellites can’t see what’s going on in there.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Even in WW2, massive underground V2 bases were destroyed by mass bunker buster (Tallboy) bombs. One example being La Coupole in Northern France.

          There are a few countries in the world today with the capability to destroy,
          such a base.

          Aircraft need runways in the main, and they are an obvious target as well.

          • goingbrokes

            Having the right bomb is not the same as having the capability. It also has to be delivered to the target, and that’s where the number of countries reduces to single digits.

  • Ambricourt

    Time for all African countries to place more trust in China than in USA. Hopefully Anglo-American competitive capitalism will give way in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa to cooperative socialism.

    • John Wallace

      Cooperative Socialism. How is that going to work when most of the leaders and the top politicians are just interested in what they can get for themselves. Just take the diamonds in Zimbabwe for an example. Mugabe wanted them all for himself but he had to share with other politicians to keep their support. The Army and Police chiefs wanted their cut as well which they got by each taking turns providing security guarding the mines for a month at a time.

    • Rodger

      Africa did 5 times the trading with China as they did with the US 5 years ago already. Africa has made its choice clear and I think they’ve made the smart choice.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    and while the USA supports civil war in the Central African republic, Russia now is training their military so as to reunify the nation