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Mugabe, China and the US – What is Next for Zimbabwe?

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay, now joining us is Larry Wilkerson. Thanks for joining us again, Larry.

LARRY WILKERSON: Good to be here, Paul.

PAUL JAY: Here’s a question from Joseph Ballin on Facebook: What is the U.S. and Chinese interest in Zimbabwe, and can China continue to keep the U.S. out of Zimbabwe since Mugabe was outed by his own ruling party? How much of this coup, or essentially a coup in Zimbabwe, is just internal politics, or does it reflect any U.S.-China contention there?

LARRY WILKERSON: I think it reflects mostly the had to go nature of Mugabe. I think he had to go, and the forces that were gathering were going to get rid of him. What happened, I think, and we may get as bad a replacement because of this, is that we had some people consult the Chinese, and the Chinese probably said, “America plays this game all the time. Russia is back in this game. We don’t play this game much. Let’s give it a shot, and let’s give it a shot in the region of the world where we’re trying to spread our capital, and to interest countries in being more not subservient, but more in the line of Chinese succession than that of America, or Europe, or anyone else.”

Most of this is for economic reasons. I was talking to a Chinese scholar the other day, and I said, “They’re playing their hand there, seeing what it’s like to be like the United States, seeing what it’s like to court another government, to maybe assist a coup, and maybe bring a more favorable government in their own interest into being.” I don’t know if it’s going to pan out that way, but I can see President Xi, and I can particularly see some of his security advisors, being more likely to do some of these things in the future. After all, these people have more money than you can shake a stick at. They have their land route going across central Asia, their sea route coming out of the South China Sea going all the way to Iran.

The other day, I’m reading a National Geographic, Paul, and the guy is walking across central Asia. He’s a photographer. He’s a travelog guy. He’s walking. He says, “One of the things I encountered the most, and everywhere I went, was the BRI, the Belt Road Initiative.” Signs of it are everywhere, from just small traders, to oil and gas pumping lines, to trucks, to you name it. The language similarities with Xinjiang province and Turkic languages in general, he said, “This is incredible.” He said, “This is what’s happening.”

The Chinese have so much money. Most of it they got from us buying their products, of course, them and others in the world. They’re investing it everywhere. We can’t possibly compete with the Chinese. When we do, Paul, we have to go to the mint, we have to get the paper and the ink, and we have to print the money.