CHINAAFRICA Year of the Snake 15th January 2013 SOUTH AFRICA: A bird looks on as a snake slides past a pool of water. Graeme Williams / Panos Image courtesy of Panos Pictures Demand for natural resources will ease as China focuses more on internal politics while moving towards consumer-led growth and management of political risk The year 2012 was a tumultuous one, as might be expected from a Year of the Dragon. However, while the run-up to the Chinese leadership transition was nothing if not controversial, President Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao’s passing of the baton to Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang was smoothly done. The Xi-Li government is unlikely to signal any dramatic changes for China’s African relations. Xi met frequently with African leaders during Hu Jintao’s presidency and therefore has a firm grasp of the relevant issues.