Angola and Ghana have been selected because they are emblematic of China’s differing interests in Africa. Angola is resource rich and China has clear interests in obtaining access to its oil, which sees aid as a bargaining tool. On the other hand, besides timber, Ghana is more marginal to short-term Chinese economic interests, and should be viewed as a case of building political alliances. They therefore represent different challenges and opportunities, both for China and for host-countries, and each provides insights into China’s wider African interests. The tapering off of traditional western source of political influence, economic investment and development assistance have seen these two countries turning towards the Chinese.