In what all but amounts to turning Harare into a satellite outpost of Beijing, China has reportedly deployed and installed a dreaded new generation of surface-to- air missiles (SAM) in Zimbabwe, in what is seen as direct preparation for defending her vast economic interests in the country, with a possible signal of ratcheting up future gunboat diplomacy against the competing West, as foreign powers scramble to move into Zimbabwe for business, under the newly elected President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration, Spotlight Zimbabwe reported.
Diplomatic and military sources in the capital yesterday said the SAM technology is similar to the one, which the Asian powerhouse has deployed to the South China Sea on Woody Island, comprising of her latest HQ-9 missiles.
Woody Island, also called Yongxing Island in China and Phu Lam Island in Vietnam, is the largest of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, with an area of 2.1 square kilometres. Controlled by Beijing, it is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam, and has since been turned into nearly a no-fly Zone due to the missiles.
The revelations, certain to raise a red flag with many Western capitals, come on the backdrop of President Xi Jingping sending his special envoy, Su Hui, to attend Mnangagwa's inauguration held on Sunday, with Mnangagwa himself set to visit China next month to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). (end of excerpt)
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