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China in Africa: the honeymoon is over

China's national oil companies remain a central feature of energy operations in Africa, but their influence has been tempered, writes Ian Lewis

AFRICAN governments are taking a more cautious approach to Chinese investment in energy operations as they seek to establish multiple markets for their oil. Angola and Libya have recently blocked oil-asset sales to Chinese companies. Nigeria has played down talk of Chinese interest in taking oilfield stakes held by Western international oil companies (IOCs). But it is too soon to conclude that African governments are turning away from their new Asian partner. "The relationship is becoming a more normal one," says Alex Vines, head of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, a London-based think tank. "It's less of a honeymoon period now." African governments are becoming more interested in

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