As Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao embarks on a seven-nation tour to Africa, we're asking: who is benefiting from the ever-growing diplomatic and economic ties between Africa and Asia's giant?
This year alone, the Chinese have undertaken two major, high-profile tours to Africa, with Chinese President Hu Jintao visiting five countries only two months ago.
China's overall trade with Africa rose from $10.6 billion in 2000 to $40bn last year and continues to increase, according to Chinese government statistics.
But are there too many Chinese goods flooding Africa's markets? What are the pros and cons of doing business with the Chinese? What is China's geo-political strategy on the continent?
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.
Africa is a continent and not a country. The Chinese do not care about Africans, all they want is more resources to compete with the US.
MPOTA MAZALA, Los Angeles, USA
Now, a yellow colonial master. So what is new? Wake up Africa!! Take your destiny in your own hands. It can be done.
Linda Rochon, Los Angeles, USA
Funny how all the negative comments on the West's involvement in Africa are from Africans now living in the West. Point being why are you living there if you are not happy with the European way of doing things. Maybe it is because Europe has something that Africa should strive for, being responsible and fair government, that even allows you to be critical of the government, unlike China. Think about it while you are living in Europe and criticizing its policies - would you be able to do that if you lived in China?
The west has taken Africa for a ride for over a century, looting its resources and all Africa got back was mounting debts and negative propaganda. They portrayed Africa as being a continent which can't achieve anything without the help of it's colonial powers and the IMF and the World Bank. After decades of neglect and false promises, the western powers have got only themselves to blame for not being trusted in Africa. .
Rashid Karshe, London, England
China is positioning itself strategically in Africa extremely well. Remember most Liberation struggles in Africa were supported by China, therefore its no surprise that Africans should reward their friend with access to resources which the West plundered. Politically China will have many allies in Africa, as it rises against USA dominance.
Siva, London, UK
China has no regards for human rights nether most of African leaders. Therefore it takes two to tango.
God save our resources! first our colonies, now is China and afterwards who again?
Plato Ovules, Nigeria
Africa only benefits if they can get technology and capital from the Chinese. Otherwise the relationship is no different than with colonial countries.
Frank, Pretoria, South Africa
For more than four hundred years the Western nations completely controlled Africa. They left a country ravished by poverty and disease. Now that the African people have got their country back, it is right that they should seek cooperation from other regions regardless of who benefits. I doubt that any other nation or race could be worse than those that were there before.
D. Davidson, Harrow, England
I think the rapid trade relationship emerging between Africa and China is going to benefit both countries. Chinese loans given to Africa doesn't have the killing strings that the western countries normally attach to their loans. Now we have the Chinese in the African market place, and the western countries who have long taken Africa for granted are panicking.
Ezra Siam, Alexandria van USA
The Chinese are the only people on earth which could sort out Africa's mess. They are not politically correct, they are pragmatic and they can work !!!
We may not know what could work for us yet, but we definitely know what didn't work for us. While the relation between West and Africa has been master-servant for centuries, plundering our resources to give us tiny part of it back as aids and loans, we now have China talking to us as trade partners. Therefore, there is hope in this new relation between China and Africa
Allen Alamode, Nigerian in Poland
Africa has a lot to learn from China right from the informal sector/vocational industry to electronics. Whether it is going to be a win situation really depends on whether the African leadership will adapt by creating conducive environment for both. Africans and their leaders should also be aware of rules of the game and see beyond their noses else they will be taken for a good ride.
Joseph Sheaf, London UK
I am sorry to say but Chinese investment offers poor, cheap technology and no benefits from my point of view. How can Africa cope with feeding supporting the Chinese presumed more than 2 billion population which is still growing?
Western capitalists don't particularly care about Africa, hence their inability to offer any kind of assistance to the poorest people, simply branding them all as corrupt regimes.
The Afro-China relation is a Win-Win one. It's clear the Chinese do accept the conditions posed to them by most African leaders which is "Lets do business and don't talk about politics". But with the western world it is " Lets talk politics and do business" China is more pragmatic than the western world.
China is of course looking out for its own interests. For the time being it seems that African countries will benefit from Chinese assistance, especially since it does not come with the intrusive requirements of the West. Perhaps Africa will be taken far more seriously now.
Merhawie Woldezion, Urbana, USA
The Europeans are panicking because this development will certainly undermine their 'economic activities' (considering the world bank) in the continent
Etete Udi, Uyo - AKS, Nigeria
Does the western world have any right to question the interaction between China and Africa? After all these are mutual agreements that provide Africans with an opportunity for development, which is far more than we can say for Europe's dubious history in the continent.
John Ombweyu, London, England
China is expanding its markets in Africa unchallenged, dumping cheap goods at the detriment of the local industries. Since they know very well how desperate African leaders are to rub shoulders with the worlds fastest growing economy and power.
Guz, Southampton England
China is just here to fill-in the gap which the western nations have failed to unconditionally fill. There is no risk trading with China just like there is non doing business with the western nations. China offers unconditional mutual investment opportunities, infrastructural development, technology support.
Johnson Adejumobi, Lagos, Nigeria
Over the years, African countries have suffered a lot of negative propaganda courtesy of their colonial godfathers. Therefore Afro-Chinese economic relations can be seen as a breath of fresh air in Africa, and perhaps an opportunity for African countries to start again on a clean slate, and hence be able to "pick & choose" who they want to deal with.
Arthur Ngoka, Wimbledon, England
In my village goes a saying that a "good" thief is the one who steals and allow some for the owner. This best describes Chinas investment in Africa. But like the adage of my village, the Chinese are not carrying all away. At least you see them investing in Cameroon. Building schools, hospitals etc.
Morfaw Rene, Southern Cameroonian in Belgium
Apart from the fact that there are too many Chinese products in Africa market, the Chinese are at a greater advantage. Most African countries do not produce anything apart from raw materials. African government should come up with a way of checking the influx of Chinese goods into African markets. If nothing is done now, Africa will become an annex of China.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA
Both China and Africa will benefit. All that is needed is prudence on both sides to ensure fair exchange.
David Karani, Helsinki, Finland/ Tanzania