Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe has failed in his quest to secure a US$1 billion loan from China to pay for desperately needed fuel, electricity and medicine, according to reports. Mr Mugabe has spent the past several weeks urging his last remaining friends, South Africa and China, to step in and bail out his ailing economy after the International Monetary Fund threatened to cut his last lines of credit. Citing sources who accompanied Mr Mugabe to Beijing last week, South Africa's authoritative Independent on Sunday said the Zimbabwean delegation was told the loan would be refused. China has pledged to veto further sanctions if they are called for at the UN but baulked at granting a loan. 'While they [the Chinese] are willing to provide infrastructural help on generous credit terms, they are not willing to throw huge amounts of money at us,' according to an anonymous Zimbabwean official who was party to the talks. Chinese officials fear the loan would never be repaid. Mr Mugabe had offered farming concessions, and even stakes in foreign-owned mines in his country, but this was not enough, the paper said. In the past, Mr Mugabe has tried to swing similar deals with Libya, offering generous cuts of the farming and mining sector in return for petroleum and hard cash. Three years ago, Libya abruptly suspended its trade activities with Mr Mugabe because the promised concessions never materialised. Chinese officials are also concerned about recent statements by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change that if it came to power, it would not honour any deals signed by Mr Mugabe. If the report turns out to be true, Mr Mugabe would have no choice but to turn to his neighbour, South Africa, whose president, Thabo Mbeki, has said would be prepared to lend financial assistance. However, South Africa's help will come with strings attached. South Africa will set as a condition that Mr Mugabe meet the opposition and begin talks, something he has vowed never to do.