In the wake of China's Year of Africa in 2006, China–Africa relations are currently the subject of unprecedented attention. However, although those relations are widely covered they are also under-researched. This article offers an introduction to China–Africa relations, covering background to the history and politics of Chinese involvement in the continent and identifying areas of further research. It concludes by calling for the study of China–Africa relations to develop a culture of serious research beyond current ‘dragon in the bush’ preoccupations and so engage a complex subject that is about to become a mainstream issue in African politics.