China is exploring the sweltering wilderness of Chad in search of lucrative pockets of oil and other materials, the New York Times reports. Chinese officials tout the strategy as a "win-win" situation as the country develops relationships with African nations to achieve mutual prosperity by capitalizing on natural resources out of the shadow of Western influence.
China’s trade with Africa amounted to just $10 million in the 1980s but now tops $55 billion. Many Africans see China's economic interest in their homelands as a momentous opportunity to relieve widespread poverty. Western interests see the increased activity as a threat from a powerful new competitor.