China's enhanced role within the global economy has profound political implications across the world, but takes a particular form in Africa. Over the past few years China has given much aid and technical support to Africa and for the first time since the end of the Cold War African leaders have genuine choices about which aid donors and investors to work with. But does this translate into development for African countries? How do other donors react? What do 'ordinary' Africans make of it? And how does it impact on wider geopolitics? These pressing questions are addressed through a systematic theorization of the 'China-Africa' relationship. Using detailed case study material collected in Africa the authors paint a picture of gains for some states, but losses for others. Looking beyond the state they see an even more complex picture of evolving social relations between Chinese and Africans and a troubling ecological footprint.