Chinese companies active in Africa are reshaping the continent's business landscape as part of a complex partnership that has reignited and vastly expanded ties from a previous era. China's ways of doing business in Africa today is different from all those of yesteryear, yet the broad engagement can be understood through the prism of one vital exchange: Resources for infrastructure. By Barry van Wyk

In the 1970s, China's financing and construction of a 1,870 km-long railway giving landlocked Zambia access to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam was a monument to Chinese engagement and solidarity with Africa in a previous era. In a flush of post-colonial exuberance, Africa was undergoing a construction boom. Drawing on colonial-era plans, various schools, hospitals and roads were being built in Ghana, for example, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), the Inga hydroelectric project was completed in 1977 at a cost of USD 260 million, while a 1,100 mile power line to Katanga also saw the light of day.

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Bilateral trade between China and Latin America has increased ten-fold in the last decade, preparing the way for a massive wave of Chinese investment in the region in 2010. While both bilateral trade and investment are expected to increase further in the coming years, questions remain on how balanced and sustainable the relationship will be. This article argues that both regions are set to enter a new stage of their relationship that will be characterised by increasing Chinese investments in more value added industries and eventually higher value added exports from Latin America. By Javier Cuñat

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Buoyed by increasing demand, especially in emerging markets, China's construction machinery players have been actively enhancing their international reach and catching up with their foreign counterparts. China's three leading companies in this sector are XCMG, Sany, and Zoomlion, and this article outlines the different strategies adopted by these rising stars and their global expansion plans. By Ankit Khaitan

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