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>> It's a diplomatic friendship that goes back decades. But if Robert Mugabe was expecting any serious backing from China as he slid from power, he'll be sadly disappointed. Analysts say Beijing is fed up with the state of Zimbabwe's economy and won't be shedding any tears now that Mugabe is gone.
China usually stays clear of other countries political dramas but as Reuters Ben Blanchard reports, in this case state media has been unusually outspoken.>> There has been of negative reports about Mugabe since this whole crisis erupted, talking about how Robert Mugabe essentially had got to this stage. Because he had intentionally let the country go to wreck and ruin and hadn't taken China's advice offered in 1985 by Deng Xiaoping, when he met Mugabe.
That Zimbabwe should really be following China's policies of economic reform, rather than sticking to these hard line leftist policies. That's very unusual. You don't normally see, in state media, any suggestion or disagreements with sitting heads of state, especially from countries that supposedly have a very close relationship with China.
>> China strongly backed Zimbabwe's independence struggle, but over the years, Mugabe has had increasingly less to offer Beijing. The economy crumbled under his leadership. And when it comes to making money in Africa, China knows it's got bigger fish to fry.>> Of course Zimbabwe is not a country that is a source of very important raw materials for China.
It's not like Angola where China gets oil from. Or Zambia where China gets a lot of copper from. Zimbabwe just doesn't have these resources. So it's really a different set of thought processes that go on in Beijing when it comes to looking at a crisis like Zimbabwe's.>> Despite having no interest in propping Mugabe up, China insists it was completely in the dark about the coup that would eventually oust him.
Even though Zimbabwe's military chief paid a visit to Beijing, just a week before the army took control.