Zimbabwe, currently run by an inept and exceptionally cruel dictatorship, is getting assistance, for its military and paramilitary forces, from China. This is not all that unusual, as China has been providing weapons and training for African nations since the 1980s. This started out as a diplomatic effort, to bribe nations to drop their recognition of Taiwan. But now, it is often in support of commercial interests. Sudan is a good example, with arms sales helping to assure continued Chinese participation in oil production contracts. Apparently, the Chinese judge the Zimbabwean dictatorship strong enough, with a little Chinese help, to stay in power and honor any commercial deals. China is mainly interested in raw materials, which Zimbabwe has lots of (especially gold and platinum). China is selling Zimbabwe communications systems, military trucks and jet fighters, items the country needs to maintain the current dictatorship. Radio jamming equipment, to keep out broadcasts criticizing dictator Robert Mugabe, was also provided by China. Apparently, Chinese advisors have been working with Zimbabwean secret police and intelligence organizations.
China is a valuable ally for dictators, as it has a veto in the UN. This veto makes it difficult for the UN to impose sanctions on Chinese trading partners.