China has contributed more to the well-being of humanity as the country has been upgrading its foreign aid to a model of international development cooperation, with new initiatives taken and greater results achieved.
This was revealed by the latest government white paper, titled “China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era,” and backed by observers.
Xu Xiuli, dean of the College of International Development and Global Agriculture at China Agricultural University, said it is the first time China has issued a white paper under the name of “international development cooperation” instead of foreign aid.
She said the upgrade has produced ample results, including new cooperation models, partnerships, platforms and better coordination.
According to the white paper, China has over the past few years expanded the scale and diversified the forms of its international development cooperation.
From 2013 to 2018, China allocated a total of 270.2 billion yuan (about 41.4 billion U.S. dollars) for foreign assistance in three categories — grants, interest-free loans, and concessional loans.
Of the total, grants accounted for 47.3 percent and concessional loans 48.52 percent. The main recipients were the least developed countries in Asia and Africa.
Speaking on the importance of China’s development cooperation with Africa, Cavince Adhere, an international relations scholar in Kenya, said developments like the implementation of the Africa 2063 Agenda “cannot take place” in the absence of some of the aspirations behind the Belt and Road Initiative.
“China has built many roads, railways, ports, and power facilities for Africa,” said Stephen Ndegwa, a lecturer at the United States International University-Africa, adding that “a lot has been done.”
The white paper also noted the increasingly diverse forms of international development cooperation, ranging from complete projects, goods and materials, technical cooperation, the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund to medical teams and volunteers. The mission, the white paper said, is to “promote a global community of shared future.”
Rommel Banlaoi, president of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, said in conducting international development cooperation, China — the largest developing country in the world — has shown its global vision, which is a vision that can be shared, particularly by neighbors in the developing world.
The white paper said China has been assisting other developing countries to reduce poverty, boost agricultural progress, support equal access to education, improve infrastructure, and speed up industrialization.
For example, China promoted its experience in village-by-village poverty reduction in Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. Chinese technicians and agricultural professionals went to developing countries and taught impoverished farmers how to grow viable plants to increase their income.
“China conducts international development cooperation with a focus on improving local people’s well-being,” the China International Development Cooperation Agency said in a statement, explaining the white paper’s significance. Experts said the concept of eco-environmental protection is another notable highlight of China’s international development cooperation.
Beatrice Matiri-Maisori, lecturer at Riara University in Kenya, said China has set an example, “not only as a major industrial manufacturer,” but also as a country that delivered on its commitments to sustainable development. Looking into the future, the white paper said China will “do everything within its means” to promote cooperation and inject Chinese strength into global development.
China will implement more projects for improving living standards in developing countries, especially the least developed countries, to ensure food security and guarantee basic needs, and prevent secondary disasters in the world economy, the white paper said.
As a builder of world peace, a contributor to global prosperity and a defender of international order, China will continue to cooperate on international development and contribute even more to improving the common well-being of humanity and building a global community with a shared future, it said.