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Things to Know About Africa-China Relations

China's President Xi Jinping (C) speaks as South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) and Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (R) look on, during the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation - Round Table Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 4, 2018.Lintao Zhang / POOL / AFP

Two very different rundowns of Africa’s relationship with China emerged over the past week. On the one side of the Pacific, the analyst Jordan Link published a paper framed as a list of five things U.S. policymakers should know about the relationship. On the other, Li Anshan, the deity of Chinese Africa studies, provided his own list of factors.

The fact that the latter took place mere kilometers from a booming Africa-focused trade summit that saw the signing of $23 billion in deals, is significant, to say the least. In many ways, it proved Link’s points that China’s relationship with Africa is not simply extractive and that it creates jobs, albeit low-level ones.

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