African leaders have inaugurated a new $200 million headquarters that was funded by China as a gift. They say the massive complex is a symbol of China's rapidly changing role in Africa.
The Chinese government fully funded the construction of the 20-floor tower overlooking a calabash-shaped conference center. It took three years to build.
AU chair Jean Ping said on Saturday China had built the complex for free.
China's top political adviser Jiao Qinglan said the gift is a "symbol of deepening relations." He said China is Africa's largest trade partner and Chinese investment there totals $13 billion.
The AU is due to open a two-day summit on Sunday at the new facility.