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China’s involvement with Africa has been going since the 1970s, when it built a railway to give Zambia access to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.  The project failed, but the relationship continued. This long but thorough article shows how China is swapping transport and construction projects for raw materials and oil, making Africa a critical trading partner for the Chinese, and helping the continent develop some of the infrastructure projects it so badly needs. A crucial read for anyone interested in this complex trading relationship, or for anyone who wants to understand opportunities in Africa.