As China's footprint in African trade grows larger by the day, the need to contextualize this rise through comparative analysis becomes ever more necessary. This paper contrasts the sub-Saharan trade rela-tions of both China and Europe with their respective designated stereo-types: those of a dragon and a dove. The article compares the trade dy-namics on four levels: the policies and institutional mechanisms that shape the relationship; the composition of the trade flows; the geograph-ic distribution of trade dominance; and the influence of norms and val-ues on the trade pattern. It concludes that although there are empirical grounds behind these stereotypes, Chinese and European trade relations with sub-Saharan Africa are becoming more similar, partly due to a more hawkish European stance.
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