This book comparatively examines the China–South Africa trade relationship over three decades through the prism of four other relationships South Africa has with states that have been China’s most contentious neighbours in the Indo-Pacific (India, Japan, Taiwan and the USA). Asia is widely expected to be the new economic centre of gravity in international relations, particularly for trade. Yet despite the story of growth for both it and its neighbours, China ranks above all these countries in terms of trade partnership with South Africa and a majority of states across the globe. This poses a puzzle answerable only through in-depth analysis. In this way, this pathbreaking new book uses quantitative data to test commonly held assumptions about the ‘new scramble for Africa’ and shines a light on the driving forces, interests and sources of agency in South Africa’s trade and foreign policies over the past three decades. The findings allow for the deduction of general patterns applicable to South Africa and peer economies, some of whom are benchmarked throughout the book for comparative insights.