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China’s relations with Angola may have traditionally been ‘friendly’ but in the last five years, her influence in the country has grown rapidly and Angola stands at the forefront of China’s African relations. In 2004, Angola became China’s largest supplier of crude oil in Africa and third-largest source of oil imports behind Saudi Arabia and Iran. Since energy security has become a pressing concern, Beijing has embarked on a strategy to enhance its influence as a development ‘partner’. Through a soft loan of US$2 billion, and engaging in a host of projects such as constructing schools, hospitals and basic infrastructure, China managed an exchange of commitment from Luanda to ensure continuous supplies of crude oil. In 2006, trade between China and Angola reached the $5 billion mark, making Angola China’s second-largest trading partner in Africa and making China Angola’s third-largest trading partner.