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More Evidence that the Africa-China Relationship is Increasingly Driven by Politics, Not Commodities

China's President Xi Jinping (front C) walks with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (front L), Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (middle row 2nd L), Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe (middle row L) and other African leaders after a group photo session during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on September 3, 2018. HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP

For centuries, many assumed that Africa’s greatest contribution to the global economy was through selling stuff that comes out of the ground. That was certainly what drew the Chinese to Africa back in the early 2000s. Today that’s no longer the case.

The fact is that other than a few strategic resources in the DR Congo, China isn’t dependent on most of the rest of Africa’s oil, minerals, and timber. With the advent of the Belt and Road, Beijing can now source much larger quantities of those resources at often lower prices from here in Southeast Asia, South America, the Persian Gulf, and Russia among other regions.

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