Chinese Weapons Ship May Head Home

Guns may not reach Zimbabwe
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 9:33 AM CDT
Zimbabweans demonstrate outside the Zimbabwe embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday April 16, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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(Newser) – China may recall the ship carrying arms to Zimbabwe, thanks to stonewalling by its Southern African neighbors, the BBC reports. Coastal nations are refusing to allow the ship to dock, worried that the weapons will be used to escalate Zimbabwe’s tense post-election standoff. The ship may yet find harbor in Angola, an ally of Zimbabwe’s government, but a Chinese official said it was considering simply returning home.

The ship’s agent says it’s headed for Angola’s capital, Luanda, but an Angolan official said it wasn’t authorized to dock. The US helped orchestrate the blockade, the AP reports, though a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman says there are no grounds for it. “This is purely a military goods transaction,” he said. “There's no point in politicizing this.”