According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, Chinese investment in African manufacturing almost equals its investments in commodities. China-Africa trade has shot up more than tenfold since 2000 to just under $170bn in 2012 – twice the level of US-Africa trade. It has more than 150 commercial attaches in sub-Saharan Africa, against just six for the US. During Mr Obama’s first term, Hu Jintao, then China’s president, visited Africa seven times. Within weeks of taking over from Mr Hu in March, Xi Xingping went on a three-nation tour of Africa.