It might have gone largely unnoticed. But there was a sting in the opening remarks made by Jia Qinglin to African heads of state at their annual summit.
The sting was aimed in Europe’s direction. Mr Jia, the fourth-ranking member of China’s ruling communist party, made much of Africa’s rich history and culture and of China’s long and brotherly relationship with the continent in his speech at the brand new $200m-headquarters Beijing had gifted to the African Union. Africa was the cradle of mankind, he reminded the audience.