Africa China Trade Relationships

Africa-China relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social and cultural connections between China and the African continent. Little is known about ancient trade relationships between China and Africa. Modern trade relationships resumed between China and Africa in the era of Mao Zedong. As of 2013, China's nominal GDP by Expenditure approach is 56.88 trillion Chinese yuan or 9.2 trillion US dollars. From 1979 until 2010, China's average annual GDP growth was 9.91%, reaching an historical high of 15.2% in 1984 and a record low of 3.8% in 1990. In order to maintain a growth rate of 9 and above, China depends heavily on Africa for natural resources (diamonds, gold, silver, uranium, cobalt and large oil reserves).

The Chinese government helps, "by all possible means", providing information, legal counsel, low-rate loans, and upon return to China, cheaper land in return for all the services provided to the Chinese nation in Africa. Bilateral trade between China and African countries reached $210 billion in 2013, but Beijing has been accused of holding back the continent's economic development by focusing on the pursuit of raw materials rather than the creation of local jobs and markets. Chinese government has always assured that China will never pursue a colonialist path like some countries did, or allow colonialism, which belongs to the past, to reappear in Africa. China represents Africa's main promise. China was Africa's 2nd largest trade partner as of 2008 and is expected to overtake the US, France, and the UK as Africa's biggest trading partner by 2010.

China has opened up a large number of infrastructural projects in Africa. Throughout Africa, Chinese companies are busy building hospitals, dams, government offices, and stadiums and refurbishing facilities abandoned by western companies, with the stated objective to improve African productivity. China's newly developed work force can provide large numbers of engineers, technicians, and specialized workers at low cost, something that Western countries cannot or are reluctant to do. This provides China with a competitive advantage over Western competitors. Most importantly, these infrastructure projects are often paid for with African oil.