The expansion of Chinese political and corporate interests into Africa is arguably the most important development for the continent since the end of the Cold War . Ofﬁ cial trade ﬁ gures alone bear testimony to the exponential speed by which the Chinese presence in Africa has grown in recent times. China is now Africa’s second largest bilateral trading partner, behind the United States, but ahead of both France and the United Kingdom, despite the latter two’s historic and longstanding relations with the continent. Published trade ﬁ gures are indicative of this massive surge in Chinese economic interest in Africa. In 1996, the value of China’s trade with Africa was $4 billion; by 2008, this had grown to $106.7 billion.