Exploiting Africa examines China’s role in Algeria, Ghana, and Tanzania from the 1950s to the 1970s. The Chinese arrived in Africa with little fanfare, yet they achieved an active presence that was more pragmatic than revolutionary. Though often couched in ideological rhetoric, Chinese goals in Africa were those of an aspiring world power. China skillfully used its limited diplomatic, intelligence, and economic means to shape events and to exploit its relationships to gain lasting influence on the continent. It is crucial to understand the nature and character of China’s historical actions in Africa in order to properly grasp the nation’s current and future policies. Rather than merely looking forward, one must look backward to comprehend the true nature of China in Africa.