China Commits 500 Troops to Mali Stabilization

We have seen a drastic rise in Chinese interest on the African continent, more specifically sub-Saharan Africa, although this has primarily been focused on business development & natural resource exploitation. This of course makes perfect sense as Africa is still such an open market for competing nations and China is at the top of global powers vying for control over the resources needed to fuel such an expanding economy. This particular story is fascinating as it seems to be the first effort by China to step into the military void (barring some counter-piracy naval efforts) in Africa.