Mutharika heads to China: Malawi ‘looks east’ policy

Malawi President Peter Mutharika from Sunday will be visiting China for an official visit to advance his government’s ‘Look East’ foreign policy after being dumped by West on aid.

President Mutharika with  Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs , Zang Ming at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe

President Mutharika with Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs , Zang Ming at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe

Mutharika’s takes the ‘Look East’ policy to Beijing to further trade deals to help rescue Malawi’s ailing economy, which is suffering the effects of an aid freeze by Western lenders following a  growing scandal over government graft known as Cashgate which has been bedevilling the nation since 2005.

During the official visit, Nyasa Times understands that Mutharika and his delegation expect to strike a number of commercial and loan agreements in exchange for trade and mineral concessions.

Mutharika applauds the Chinese Government for playing a significant role in transforming Malawi’s socio-economic landscape since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 27th December, 2007.

The Malawi leader is on record saying he feels“ grateful “ that the Chinese have been investing in sanitation projects in Malawi, a critical social program for the public health, and the Chinese companies in the southern African impoverished nation are actively taking up their social responsibilities while engaging in economic activities in the country.

Malawi, which depends on mostly Western donors to bankroll most of its development programs, has benefitted a lot of infrastructure development with support of the Chinese – of course most on long term loans.

Mutharika, the brother of president Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in April 2012, declared that Malawi will look for “new friends” in countries such as Russia and China – nations who care less on issues of human rights and governance.

Notable projects that China has helped Malawi include the New Parliament building, Karonga-Chitipa –Road and Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) with a 80 million U.S. dollars loan. The university has been operating since 2014.

Mutharika said China in last October provided his government a credit line of 25 million U.S. dollars in aid for which Lilongwe officials will propose a number of social projects, particularly the building of schools to tap the fund.

China recently pledged more support for Malawi in several areas including education, Health, Agriculture, Transport, Business and Telecommunication.

Chinese business people have established retail shops across Malawi mostly selling cheap electrical goods, clothes, blankets, toys and beauty products.

Many Malawians, however, complain that some Chinese products, were seen as unreliable with some people using the term ‘zhing zhong’, which derisively refers to the cheap Chinese good.

But some say people should not complain about the substandard goods because they are for not well-to-do while those that have money can go and buy things from expensive shops.

 

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kholowa mkabudula
Guest

Mukunya muona simunati, corruption no 1 kupemphanso no1, poti ngakhale china yo naye atopa nafe ndikuba kwakwe kumeneku? Pa Malawi pathu siposauka ayi koma ifeyo ndi anthu opusa kwambili padziko lonse lapansi. Ndiye ameneyu mumkamunyadila mukuyankhula moyelekedwa lero ndizimenezi mululilanji? West didn’t dump Malawi but Malawi is dumping the west because it doesn’t want to co-operate on cash gate. Even if it was your money how could you feel? Tilila mpaka titulutse chitosi!

medrian kaunda
Guest

The government will do VERY unfavourable deals to keep the DPP ship from sinking already this year, Whatever happens in the East will be unfavorable to Malawi, selling out further.

Commissioner of Truths
Guest
Commissioner of Truths

Wooing investors ndi nkhope yake itiyo? This man simply wants a nice noodle meal of sweet and sour dog meat.

Abwelako ndi chiwewe like his brother.

mdk
Guest

Poti even the west are heading to the same east cos as of now they are the economic power house.timazinamizilanji amalawi. Even the west is now talking about teaching mandarin in schools

Ganesh the Wise
Guest

Oh stop it! Be clear on ONE thing: donors GIVE us money.
The Chinese LEND us money and they want it paid back WITH INTEREST.

Question: When will the Govt have to start paying off the loan for parliament and the White Elephant Hotel? And how much each year will go to Beijing instead of buying drugs or paying teachers?

For heaven’s sake Malawi -wake up

Challo
Guest

Hi fellow Malawians
Do you / we, like to see our / your people suffering to death, because you and me hate China?
Are we Malawians, really following world current affairs?
Didn’t we, you and me heard about the mighty AMERICA borrowing triollions of $ Dollers from CHINA, the country you / me despise and hate?
Countrymen, the fact that the president is LOMWE, does not mean that he is only one to benefit from the development taking place in this country.
Let us not waste our precious time, in such way.
Challo

Masoambeta
Guest

You voted for APM. Bear what follows next. Be prepared for the worst strife while the politicians are living large.
Malawi will never develop. We have no standards at all.

che
Guest

can somebody check the delegation coz i saw his in laws on the list?

Cashgett
Guest

Going to east???ummm!maybe,but why now,as long as corruption continues to run the government sectors there will be no change, adopting federal system is an option.

box13 bilila NU
Guest

BINGU had a sound thinking ,this one is a drifting paper on the sea, no direction on its own at all.

wpDiscuz

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