'Unconditional aid': Assessing the impact of China's development assistance to Zimbabwe
South African Journal of International Affairs
University of Osnabrueck, Germany; Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Department of Political Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
China's development assistance to Africa has attracted varied criticisms from academics, Western governments and international donor organisations. The main criticisms have been directed at the lack of good governance conditions on its development assistance to African governments and its dealings with countries under sanction or isolation from the international community, owing to poor governance, human rights abuses and/or corruption. Using the case of Zimbabwe in the current period, the impact of China's development assistance on its prospects for sustainable development is assessed. Since 2000 Zimbabwe has experienced a crisis of governance leading to socio-economic and political decline. This crisis has arguably been exacerbated by China's varied assistance to the Robert Mugabe regime, as well as China's protection of the regime in the United Nations Security Council. It is argued that without encouraging good governance, and managing this relationship for the benefit of Zimbabwe, Harare will not see the gains from development assistance that will lead to the sustainable development of Zimbabwe as a whole. © 2012 The South African Institute of International Affairs.