On the new Silk Road, they don't trade much silk. (That I know of.)
And, it appears, that there isn't actually much trading going on.
Just "the most bare-knuckled resource grab the world has ever seen."
If I've emailed you or talked to you during the last 2-3 months, there's a good chance I've referenced the series that follows or even shared these links with you. It is, quite simply, the finest piece of journalism I've come across in 2008.
It is long. But reading it represents a great investment of your time. Whether or not you were curious about the relationship between China and the African continent before you poked your head into this post.
Without further ado...
China in Africa Part 1
China in Africa Part 2
China in Africa Part 3
China in Africa Part 4
China in Africa Part 5
China in Africa Part 6
There is something very pyrrhic about how the people of those African countries have entangled themselves with the Chinese government and the Chinese business community.
Mutually assured destuction is too hyperbolic, but I don't think there's a more fitting phrase to project the outcome for both China and the Continent. It just can't end well.