Chinese Development Aid in Africa: What, Where, Why, and How Much?
20 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2012
Date Written: June 2011
China’s development aid to Africa has increased rapidly, yet this might be the only fact on which we have widespread agreement when it comes to Chinese aid. Analysts disagree about the nature of China’s official development aid, the countries that are its main recipients, the reasons for providing aid, the quantity of official aid, and its impact. Why does this matter? Knowing more about Chinese development aid is important for understanding Chinese foreign policy and economic statecraft: how and to what ends does China use its government policy tools? It is also important for more accurate comparisons between Chinese practices and those of other donors and providers of finance. Finally, for those who are interested in the question of whether, as it rises, China will transform, reform or maintain the existing system of norms and rules, development aid provides a particularly interesting case study. The rules and norms about foreign aid have been forged not by a global institution, but primarily by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — a group of countries of which China is not a part. To answer questions about China’s impact on these rules and norms, we need to have a sound idea of what China is actually doing as a donor.
Keywords: China, Africa, foreign aid
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