Last week, reporters at all of the major newspapers wrote articles about Zimbabwe's close relationship with China. These articles were prompted by Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's visit to China (although it is useful to note that the Christian Science Monitor was writing about this at the beginning of July). Luckily, there is some good news to offset the reports of China selling the Zimbabwean government water cannons and eavesdropping equipment. While Mugabe was able to negotiate an agreement with Hu Jintao, it was much smaller than he had hoped for:

Mr Mugabe went to China last week hoping for help repaying a $300m debt to the IMF, but Beijing granted him only $6m for grain imports, they say.

Observers say Zimbabwe will again be looking to South Africa for help.

While South African president Thabo Mbeki had refrained from criticizing Mugabe in the past, this time is likely to be different.
Some reports said Mr Mugabe was seeking as much as $1bn from South Africa.

South Africa is likely to insist that as a condition of loans, the Zimbabwe government engage in dialogue with the political opposition, and halt the housing demolitions which, according to the UN, have left 700,000 without shelter in recent months.

Since Mugabe has downplayed British and American concerns about human rights in Zimbabwe as part of a Western neoimperialist conspiracy which wants to see Zimbabwe fail, pressure from other African states will probably have more impact on his government that criticism, economic sanctions, or even scathing reports from the UN.