Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs — China is not a Rogue Donor

In China is not a Rogue Donor, Foreign Affairs incorporates AidData's dataset on Chinese Official Finance to Africa into two interactive infographics (built by Studio Metric) contrasting the composition of Chinese aid to Africa versus OECD counterparts. The article also draws from and cites an AidData Working Paper, Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa.

Author(s)

Abstract

Abstract

Chinese “aid” is a lightning rod for criticism. Policy-makers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing uses its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms—all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese “aid” stems from a failure to distinguish between China's Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China's official financing commitments to Africa from 2000 to 2013, we find that the allocation of Chinese ODA is driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional flows. These results highlight the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities.

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Datasets Referenced

Publications Referenced

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing From China to Africa