Report: China catching up to U.S in foreign aid Researchers: Much of $354B serves China’s interests.
China is close to
BEIJING — matching the United States as a source of official grants and loans to developing countries, but much of Beijing’s financing serves its own eco- nomic interests and yields scant benefits for recipi-
ents, a multinational group of researchers reported Wednesday.
The research by AidData, a lab at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, is the most extensive effort yet to measure official financing by China, which releases few details of its aid flows. That has spurred concern about Beijing’s intentions as it tries to expand its global influence to match China’s status as the world’s second-largest economy.
China gave or lent $354.4 billion in the 15 years end- ing in 2014 in Africa, Asia
and elsewhere, compared with $394.6 billion for the United States, according to AidData. It released a data- base of Chinese financing, assembled from thousands of sources of information, and a study on its impact by scholars from Harvard University, Germany’s Hei
delberg University and William & Mary.
the very top level, you could say the U.S. and China are now spending rivals when it comes to financial trans- fers to other countries,” said AidData’s executive director, Bradley C. Parks.
China’s secretiveness about its spending has fueled complaints its aid might prop up corrupt regimes or undercut environmental and human rights standards Western donors are trying to enforce.
Attenti o n to Chinese financing has increased as Beijing promotes its “Belt and Road Initiative,” a multi-bil- lion-dollar effort to expand
China’s trade links with Asia, Africa and the Middle East by building ports, roads and facilities.
About 23 percent of Chinese spending met the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s definition of “official development assistance.” By contrast, 93 percent of U.S. spending qualifies as aid.