In preparation for defending its economic interests in the country, China has placed its new generation surface-to-air missiles (SAM) in Zimbabwe.
The goal is to hedge against competing countries battling over Zimbabwe’s resources and the newly elected government there. The Zimbabwean military are all for the move as it helps them regain some military influence in the region.
The new weapon system installed in Zimbabwe is very similar to the one China has placed in the South China Sea. Zimbabwe is becoming a key country for China as they are not only investing in defense, but also building a new parliament, a supercomputer centre, helping the power infrastructure and medical sector.
The newly-elected Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa is also set to travel to Beijing for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), where defense will be one of the key discussions to take place. China has already hosted 50 African defense leaders in June and this is an opportunity for talks to continue.