In Africa, China has been securing access to resources through lucrative trade agreements while Western powers have decided to take the military option to secure their share of the pie.
“Across Africa, the red flag of China is flying. Lucrative deals are being struck to buy its commodities – oil, platinum, gold and minerals… From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower’s long-term survival.”
China in Africa: New Imperialism?
Chinese world trade has increase over 20-fold in under 20 years and even though Africa represents a minor portion of that growth at present, it is vital for China’s long term security and prosperity. Africa not only contains a vast quantity of the world’s natural resources (more info), it is also the second largest continent with some of the most fertile farmlands (pdf) in the world.