China's International Development Cooperation in the New Era
China's International Development Cooperation in the New Era
The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China
- I. International Development Cooperation in the New Era and a Global Community of Shared Future
- II. Achieving New Progress in International Development Cooperation
- III. Boosting International Cooperation on the Belt and Road
- IV. Contributing to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- V. Responding to Global Humanitarian Challenges Together
- VI. Supporting the Endogenous Growth of Developing Countries
- VII. Strengthening International Exchanges and Tripartite Cooperation
- VIII. Future Prospects for China’s International Development Cooperation
China is the largest developing country in the world.
Since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China has always demonstrated a spirit of internationalism and humanitarianism following and supporting other developing countries’ efforts to improve their people’s lives and achieve development. From the outset, even though China was itself short of funds, it started offering assistance to needy countries in support of their fight for national independence and liberation, and their effort to promote economic and social development, which laid a solid foundation for long-term friendship and cooperation with those countries. After launching reform and opening up in 1978, China has provided other developing economies with even more aid in more diverse forms to boost common development.
China entered a new era after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012. President Xi Jinping has considered China’s responsibilities from a global perspective, and proposed the vision of a global community of shared future and the Belt and Road Initiative. China is committed to pursuing the greater good and shared interests, and upholding the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith for developing relations with other developing countries and the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness for expanding relations with neighboring countries. To this end, President Xi has taken advantage of many major international occasions to announce a broad range of cooperation measures. These present China’s approach, offer its vision, and contribute its strength to resolving global development issues and implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In response to the call of the times, China has been upgrading its foreign assistance to a model of international development cooperation, taking on new initiatives and achieving greater results in this new era.
The Chinese government is publishing this white paper to introduce China’s views on international development cooperation1 in the new era, the actions it has taken, and its plans for the future.
The unprecedented level of interconnection and interdependence among countries binds them into a global community of shared future. Guided by this vision, China’s international development cooperation in the new era has a more profound philosophical basis and clearer goals, which lead to more concrete actions.
1. Cultural and Philosophical Origins
China has a cultural foundation and national character that attach great importance to good faith, friendship, justice and righteousness. This is an inherent force driving China’s development cooperation, which is based on the following notions:
– The Chinese nation’s ideal of universal harmony. China pursues an ideal world where the Great Way rules for the common good, respects the principles of good neighborliness and harmony in relations with all other countries, and advocates cooperation and mutual help. Deep rooted in Chinese culture, these are the firm beliefs that inspire China’s development cooperation. Upholding the belief that all countries are members of a global village with shared future, China advocates fairer and more equitable international relations, and steadfastly contributes to global development.
– The Chinese idea of repaying kindness with kindness. The Chinese people will always remember the support and help that China has received from other countries and international organizations. Chinese culture admires those who return the favor of a drop of water in need with a spring of water indeed. China is willing to share its successful experience without reservation to boost development in other places and benefit more countries and peoples.
– The Chinese tradition of internationalism. The Chinese people always preserve a sense of justice and a feeling of sympathy. In 1950, just one year after the founding of the People’s Republic, China did its utmost to support other countries in their campaigns for national independence in spite of its own difficulties. Over the past seven decades, the Chinese nation has forged ahead, moving from poverty and backwardness towards strength and prosperity. The Chinese people hope that other peoples will also lead a good life while theirs is improving, and are willing to contribute as much as they can to other developing countries’ efforts to satisfy their people’s aspiration for a better life.
– China’s sense of responsibility as a major country. China is a founding member of the United Nations and also a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It upholds the universal values of humanity – peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom – and sticks to a development path that is peaceful, open, cooperative and inclusive. China considers it a duty to actively engage in development cooperation as a responsible member of the international community. China considers it a mission to contribute more to humanity. Its wish is to offer more public goods to the international community and join forces with other countries to build a better common future.
2. China’s Approaches to Development Cooperation
Based on its experience in international development cooperation since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has formed distinctive approaches in keeping with the new era while maintaining its fine traditions, as elaborated below.
– Promoting a global community of shared future is the mission of China’s international development cooperation. Humanity shares a common stake in development, and world stability and prosperity cannot be achieved unless developing countries can progress. By helping other developing countries reduce poverty and improve their people’s lives, China works together with them to narrow the North-South gap, eliminate the deficit in development, establish a new model of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
– Pursuing the greater good and shared interests, with higher priority given to the former, is the underlying guideline. This represents one of China’s cultural traditions and embodies its belief in internationalism. Under this guideline, China strives to make the cake of prosperity bigger, and hopes developing countries will advance faster to share the opportunities and benefits offered by open development. Observing the principle of mutual benefit for win-win outcomes, it offers as much assistance as it can while taking into consideration of the interests and needs of other developing countries.
– South-South cooperation is the focus. In spite of China’s tremendous achievements, two realities have not changed: China is in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time to come, and China is still the world’s largest developing economy. China’s development cooperation is a form of mutual assistance between developing countries. It falls into the category of South-South cooperation and therefore is essentially different from North-South cooperation. China is a staunch supporter, active participant and key contributor of South-South cooperation. It will continue to shoulder the international responsibilities commensurate with its development level and capacity, and further expand South-South cooperation, so as to promote joint efforts for common development.
– Belt and Road cooperation is a major platform. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road are significant public goods China offers to the whole world and a major platform for international development cooperation. China has joined hands with other countries to promote policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, to build the Belt and Road into a path towards peace, prosperity, opening up, innovation, green development, cultural exchanges, and clean government.
– Helping other developing countries to pursue the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a key goal. The 2030 Agenda is a guiding blueprint for development cooperation around the world and has a lot in common with the Belt and Road Initiative. The international community has made initial progress in achieving the agenda’s goals in recent years, but global development remains unbalanced and inadequate. The Covid-19 pandemic has posed a serious threat to the 2030 Agenda, making it a tough task to achieve its goals in all countries and for all people as scheduled. Through international cooperation on improving development capacity and optimizing development partnerships, China has helped other developing countries mitigate the impact of the pandemic, so as to accelerate action for the 2030 Agenda and achieve common prosperity.
3. China’s Principles for Development Cooperation
China’s principles for international development cooperation are as follows:
– Respecting each other as equals. China always supports development cooperation on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. It holds that all countries, regardless of size, strength and wealth, are equal members of the international community. When cooperating with other countries for development, no country should interfere in their efforts to find a development path suited to their own national conditions, interfere in their internal affairs, impose its own will on them, attach political strings, or pursue political self-interest.
– Doing the best we can to help. Taking both the domestic and international situation into consideration, China gives full play to its comparative strengths, and perform international duties compatible with its national strength. Within the framework of South-South cooperation, it provides as much assistance to other developing countries as it can. China respects other developing countries’ opinions, and determines cooperation projects through friendly consultation and mutual agreement. It does not launch projects in conflict with its partners’ development level and needs. China is always true in word and resolute in deed. It honors its commitments and ensures all projects achieve good results.
– Focusing on development and improving people’s lives. Development is the top priority of all countries. When carrying out development cooperation, China emphasizes coordination of plans and strategies with partner countries, and responds to the priority needs of developing countries for social and economic progress. Aiming to improve people’s wellbeing and provide them with tangible gains, it increases investment in poverty alleviation, disaster relief, education, health care, agriculture, employment, environmental protection, and climate change response, and actively participates in emergency humanitarian relief operations.
– Providing the means for independent development. Fully considering the resources, development level and needs of other developing countries, China shares unreservedly its experience and technologies with them by various means, and trains local talent and technicians for them, so as to empower them to tap their own potential for diversified, independent and sustainable development.
– Conducting effective cooperation in diverse forms. China has developed distinctive forms of foreign assistance throughout its long-term experience, including:
• complete projects,
• goods and materials,
• technical cooperation,
• cooperation in human resources development,
• South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF),
• medical teams,
• outbound volunteers,
• emergency humanitarian aid, and
• debt relief.
In accordance with its partners’ actual needs and conditions, China chooses the optimal forms of cooperation to maximize the results. It champions the efficient use of funds to their best value.
– Ensuring delivery and sustainability. China prioritizes implementation management, supervision and evaluation to ensure the quality of projects. In order to maintain the reputation and credibility of China-aid projects and increase their overall efficiency, China pays close attention to the operation of completed projects, provides follow-up technical support, and boosts the integration of investment, construction and operation. To ensure lasting impact, it promotes vocational training and technical cooperation, and helps countries to improve the skills of their project management personnel and localize project management. China seeks solutions through bilateral consultations with countries in difficulty for repayment of debts, and helps low-income countries to achieve debt sustainability.
– Being open and inclusive to promote exchanges and mutual learning. China furthers its international communication on development cooperation to dispel doubts, increase mutual trust, and seek mutual learning. It respects the wishes of countries in receipt of aid, and discusses and launches cooperation with other countries and international organizations based on the principle that projects should be proposed, agreed and led by recipient countries. In a spirit of openness, China explains through various channels its policies, funding and management for development cooperation to the rest of the world.
– Advancing with the times and breaking new ground. Following the trends of the times and the changes in the domestic and international situation, China introduces reforms and innovations to its development cooperation while remaining true to its own principles. Absorbing the experience of other countries and international organizations in this field, and based on the development goals and needs of developing countries, China makes institutional reforms, improves regulations, diversifies forms, and expands areas of interest to increase the quality and effectiveness of cooperation.
4. Practical Measures for Development Cooperation
Respecting its solemn commitments, China has taken practical actions in development cooperation. President Xi Jinping has announced measures for development cooperation on many international occasions, which will contribute to global development.
– Fulfilling its duties as a major country and providing global development with public goods.
During the summits commemorating the UN’s 70th anniversary in September 2015, President Xi announced the following commitments for the next five years:
• supporting “six 100 projects” – 100 poverty reduction projects, 100 agricultural cooperation projects, 100 aid for trade projects, 100 ecological conservation and climate change response projects, 100 hospitals and clinics, and 100 schools and vocational training centers;
• helping implement 100 maternal and child health care projects and 100 “happy campus” projects;
• setting up an assistance fund for South-South cooperation and a China-UN peace and development fund;
• launching training and scholarship programs for people from other developing countries to study in China;
• writing off debts on eligible countries’ interest-free loans; and
• establishing an institute of South-South cooperation and development and a center for international knowledge on development.
At the opening of the virtual 73rd World Health Assembly on May 18, 2020, President Xi announced measures for supporting international cooperation against Covid-19, including:
• providing an assistance fund of US$2 billion over two years;
• working with the UN to set up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China;
• establishing a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals;
• making Covid-19 vaccines available as a global public good once they have been developed and applied in China; and
• working with other G20 members to implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries.
– Increasing aid to other developing countries within the Belt and Road framework.
At the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017, President Xi announced that China would:
• provide assistance worth RMB60 billion to launch more projects to improve people’s wellbeing in the following three years;
• provide emergency food aid worth RMB2 billion;
• make an additional contribution of US$1 billion to the SSCAF;
• launch 100 “happy home” projects, 100 poverty alleviation projects, and 100 health care and rehabilitation projects; and
• provide relevant international organizations with US$1 billion.
At the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2019, President Xi announced that China would:
• implement the Belt and Road South-South Cooperation Initiative on Climate Change;
•expand cooperation in agriculture, health, disaster mitigation and water resources;
• invite 10,000 representatives to visit China;
• encourage and support extensive cooperation on public wellbeing projects among social organizations of participating countries; and
• continue to run the Chinese government scholarship Silk Road Program.
– Proposing cooperation schemes with developing countries through regional cooperation mechanisms.
President Xi Jinping has proposed many aid plans to boost economic and social development and people’s wellbeing in recipient countries at bilateral and multilateral conferences such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation Between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, and the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum.
At the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in December 2015, President Xi put forward ten major cooperation programs with Africa for the following three years, covering industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, finance, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction, public health, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.
At the FOCAC Beijing Summit held in September 2018, President Xi stated that China would launch eight major initiatives in the next three years and beyond, covering industrial development, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.
At the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against Covid-19 in June 2020, President Xi said that China would continue to do everything possible to support Africa’s response to Covid-19, work with Africa to accelerate the follow-ups to the FOCAC Beijing Summit, give greater priority to cooperation on public health, business reopening, and people’s wellbeing, and build an even stronger China-Africa community of shared future.
The Chinese government is actively fulfilling its commitments to development cooperation. All the measures listed above have been completed or are progressing as scheduled, turning into solid contributions to global development.
II. Achieving New Progress in International Development Cooperation
China has continued a steady increase in the scale of its international development cooperation, giving high priority to the least developed countries in Asia and Africa and developing countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative. To adapt to changes in the domestic and international situation, China has reformed its management system and is exploring new ways to promote international development cooperation with better results.
1. Steady Growth
China has steadily increased the scale and further expanded the scope of its foreign aid. From 2013 to 2018, China allocated a total of RMB270.2 billion for foreign assistance in three categories – grants, interest-free loans, and concessional loans. Grants of RMB127.8 billion, accounting for 47.3 percent of the total, mainly went to help other developing countries build small and medium-sized social welfare projects and to fund projects for cooperation in human resources development, technical cooperation, material assistance, and emergency humanitarian assistance, as well as projects under the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund. Interest-free loans of RMB11.3 billion, constituting 4.18 percent of the total, were mainly allocated to help developing countries construct public facilities and launch projects for improving local people’s lives. Concessional loans of RMB131.1 billion, making up 48.52 percent of the total, were provided to help developing countries undertake industrial projects and large and medium-sized infrastructure projects that yield economic and social benefits, and for the supply of technical services, complete sets of equipment, mechanical and electrical products, and other goods and materials.
From 2013 to 2018, China extended assistance to 20 regional and international multilateral organizations and 122 countries across the world – 30 in Asia, 53 in Africa, 9 in Oceania, 22 in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 8 in Europe.
2. Diverse Forms
In addition to undertaking complete projects, providing goods and materials, and conducting technical cooperation, China set up the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund in 2015 to launch development cooperation programs, and continues to explore new models and methods of foreign aid.
– Complete projects. From 2013 to 2018, China undertook the construction of 423 complete projects, with the focus on infrastructure and agriculture. In addition to the traditional “turnkey” model of assistance, China also launched pilot projects in some countries and regions with sound tendering processes and experience in organizing and implementing such projects. Under this model, China provided both funds and technical assistance to those projects, and the recipient countries were responsible for site survey, design, construction, and process management.
– Goods and materials. From 2013 to 2018, China provided 124 countries and regions with 890 deliveries of goods and materials, most of which comprised mechanical equipment, inspection equipment, transport vehicles, medicine and medical devices.
– Technical cooperation. From 2013 to 2018, China completed 414 such projects in 95 countries and regions, mainly covering industrial production and management, agricultural planting and breeding, culture and education, sports and training, medical and health care, clean energy development, and planning and consulting.
– Cooperation in human resources development. From 2013 to 2018, China held more than 7,000 training sessions and seminars for foreign officials and technical personnel and in-service education programs, training a total of some 200,000 people. Such projects cover more than 100 subjects in 17 fields, including politics and diplomacy, public administration, national development, poverty reduction through agricultural development, medical and health care, education and scientific research, culture and sports, and transport.
– South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund. By the end of 2019, China had launched 82 projects under the SSCAF framework in cooperation with 14 international organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). These projects cover agricultural development and food security, poverty reduction, health care for women and children, response to public health emergencies, education and training, post-disaster reconstruction, migrant and refugee protection, and aid for trade.
– Medical teams. By the end of 2019, China had dispatched 27,484 medical workers in 1,069 groups to 72 countries and regions. They worked in all departments of medical and health care, including internal medicine, surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, traditional Chinese medicine, anesthesiology, patient care, pathology, clinical laboratories, and public health. Currently there are nearly 1,000 Chinese medical workers providing assistance at 111 health care facilities in 55 countries across the globe.
– Outbound volunteers. From 2013 to 2018, China dispatched more than 20,000 young volunteers and volunteer Chinese-language teachers to work in over 80 countries around the world.
– Emergency humanitarian aid. From 2013 to 2018, China extended emergency humanitarian assistance to 60 countries. This included providing supplies and equipment, dispatching international rescue teams and medical expert groups, and repairing damaged facilities.
– Debt relief. From 2013 to 2018, China canceled RMB4.18 billion of debts involving 98 mature interest-free loans to least developed countries, heavily indebted poor countries, and landlocked and small island developing countries.
3. Groundbreaking Progress in Reform and Management
To better adapt to the new circumstances, China has reformed its foreign aid systems and mechanisms to improve management and promote international development cooperation in the new era.
– Institutional reform. In April 2018, the Chinese government set up the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) directly under the State Council. This is a significant move to safeguard world peace and promote common development. It serves to better plan and coordinate efforts on international cooperation and build synergy for development. The establishment of such a specialized agency represents a milestone in China’s foreign aid journey.
– Better management. China has improved its evaluation mechanisms for foreign aid projects, so as to raise the quality and depth of feasibility analysis. To make feasibility studies more forward-looking, environmental impact, future management and other long-term factors are taken into consideration.
China has formulated clearly defined project management rules and regulations, improved procedures for governmental procurement, contract performance, and qualification assessment of enterprises bidding for foreign aid projects, and endeavored to establish a tendering system focusing on high quality and competitive pricing. To guard against corruption, China has strengthened the performance appraisal mechanism for entities undertaking projects.
China has optimized its rapid response mechanism for emergency humanitarian aid to ensure prompt and effective assistance, and strengthened supervision and evaluation to improve the overall efficiency of its foreign aid.
III. Boosting International Cooperation on the Belt and Road
Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed, China has carried out development cooperation and contributed to policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity based on the needs of individual countries, creating space and opportunities to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
1. Enhancing Policy Coordination
Policy coordination is the foundation for Belt and Road participants to strengthen political mutual trust, develop pragmatic cooperation and integrate their interests. Based on the principle of seeking and expanding common ground while reserving and resolving differences, China has invited foreign officials to participate in training sessions, and dispatched experts and advisors to participating countries, to promote bilateral communication and understanding and create synergy for common development.
– Building platforms for the Belt and Road Initiative to dovetail with the development strategies of participating countries. China has held over 4,000 training sessions for officials from participating countries on Belt and Road topics such as infrastructure connectivity, industrial capacity, equipment standardization, trade facilitation, and technological standardization.
The training programs serve as a communication platform for coordinating policies among countries within the Belt and Road framework. Participants of the programs discussed and planned jointly on ways to link the Belt and Road Initiative with regional and national initiatives, such as Agenda 2063 of the African Union, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, EU’s Europe-Asia connectivity strategy, Pakistan’s vision of a new Pakistan, Laos’ initiative to transform from a land-locked country to a land-linked country, the Philippines’ massive infrastructure projects under its Build, Build, Build program, Kazakhstan’s Bright Road initiative, and Mongolia’s Development Road program.
– Creating opportunities for regional economic and trade integration. China has sent experts and advisors abroad to offer technical consulting services, and propose feasible plans for development based on an in-depth understanding of the national conditions, policies and laws of each partner country, laying the groundwork for effective cooperation.
The China-Belarus Great Stone Industrial Park, an overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, has been hailed as “a pearl on the Silk Road Economic Belt”. China implemented technical support programs for the industrial park, shared its experience in managing development zones, and invited experts from Belarus to visit the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area and the Suzhou Industrial Park. Through field trips and in-depth communication, the experts of the two countries jointly formulated policies on the management, operation, investment promotion, and industrial development for the park, laying solid foundations for its long-term development.
2. Strengthening Infrastructure Connectivity
Infrastructure connectivity is key to Belt and Road cooperation. China provides full support to participating countries in building trunk lines including highways, railways, ports, bridges and telecommunications cable networks, in order to build a connectivity framework consisting of six corridors, six routes, and multiple countries and ports.
– Connecting the six corridors and six routes. China supports Belt and Road participants in infrastructure connectivity projects to revive the ancient Silk Road. To support the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and promote overland trade between the two countries, China participated in the upgrading and expansion of the Peshawar-Karachi Motorway and the Karakoram Highway. To support the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, China is helping to build infrastructure such as highways, bridges and tunnels in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, promoting connectivity and integrated development between Southeast Asia and South Asia.
China’s help with the construction of sections of Kyrgyzstan’s North-South highway and Tajikistan’s road renovation project on the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor has improved the local transport conditions. Connecting over 100 cities across more than 20 countries in Europe and Asia, the China Railway Express to Europe has made an outstanding contribution to stabilizing international industrial and supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic.
– Building logistics corridor on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China supports the construction of a smooth and efficient transport corridor on the Maritime Silk Road with the key ports as major links. With China’s assistance, the Friendship Port expansion project in Mauritania has significantly improved the handling capacity and alleviated cargo congestion and delays in the port, making it an important trade logistics node along the Maritime Silk Road.
– Building air transport hubs. To meet the increasing needs of air transport, China has assisted Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives, Cambodia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Togo in upgrading and expanding their airports, thereby improving operational capacity and safety, increasing the passenger and cargo throughput, promoting local tourism, facilitating cross-border passenger and trade flow, and bringing more opportunities for their integration with the Belt and Road Initiative.
3. Promoting Unimpeded Trade
Trade is an important engine for economic growth. China has aided countries to improve their trade infrastructure and capacity, laying a solid foundation for Belt and Road participants to achieve unimpeded trade.
– Facilitating trade. To enhance the competitiveness of developing countries in the global supply chain, China has taken proactive measures to help Belt and Road partners improve their trade infrastructure and modernize their trading systems.
To speed up the customs clearance process for goods and combat smuggling, China has donated container inspection equipment to more than 20 countries including Georgia, Armenia, Tanzania, Kenya and the Philippines. China has also assisted Bangladesh’s purchase of shipping vessels, delivering three oil tankers and three bulk carriers to the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation and thus helping to increase its overall transport capacity.
– Improving trade capacity. China is helping Laos to build its rural e-commerce policies, plans and systems, and helping Myanmar and Cambodia to build their systems for the inspection of agricultural products, inspection and quarantine of animals and plants, and grain storage, to enhance their export competitiveness.
From 2013 to 2018, to coordinate trade policies of different countries and build a free trade network, China held over 300 trade-related training sessions for participating countries on trade facilitation, international logistics, multimodal transport, e-commerce, border health and quarantine, border inspection and quarantine of animals and plants, and safety of imported and exported food. It has set up funds in the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization for building trade capacity and helping developing economies and particularly the least developed countries to integrate into the multilateral trading system.
4. Deepening Financial Integration
China actively helps participating countries to improve their financial systems and build cooperation platforms for financing, paving the way for financial integration.
– Supporting the improvement of financial systems. China assists Belt and Road participants in optimizing their financial environment, a prerequisite for their integration into the international financial system.
In 2015, China helped Laos to build its national bankcard payment system, a constructive step in maintaining the financial stability of Laos and promoting financial connectivity with neighboring countries. The China-IMF Capacity Development Center has provided intellectual support to Belt and Road participants to improve their macro-economic and financial frameworks. China set up the Research Center for Belt and Road Financial and Economic Development, which serves as an important think tank for enhancing capacity building in financial integration.
– Building multilateral cooperation platforms for financing. The Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF) was jointly established by China, the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Development Bank of Latin America, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The MCDF aims to promote connectivity among international financial institutions and relevant partners, and attract more investment in the Belt and Road through sharing information, supporting project preparation and building capacity.
5. Fostering Closer People-to-People Ties
People-to-people friendship is the cornerstone of sound state-to-state relations, and heart-to-heart communication holds the key to deeper friendship. China promotes people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation with partner countries through projects designed to improve the lives of local people, thus increasing mutual appreciation, mutual understanding and mutual respect, and reinforcing the social foundation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
– Improving people’s lives. China has launched a series of people-oriented projects in Belt and Road countries to address such issues as housing, water supply, health care, education, rural roads, and assistance to vulnerable groups, helping to fill gaps in infrastructure and basic public services.
China has assisted Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Djibouti in building water supply systems to ensure access to safe drinking water. It has aided Sri Lanka, Senegal, Guinea, Niger, Mozambique, South Sudan, Jamaica, Suriname, Dominica and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in building hospitals to improve local medical services and make it easier for local people to access medical treatment.
China has helped Belarus build government-subsidized housing to improve the living conditions of the vulnerable. From 2016 to 2019, it provided over 2,000 free cataract surgeries in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
– Furthering people-to-people exchanges. China has invited representatives from Belt and Road countries such as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Kazakhstan to engage in people-to-people exchanges in China, increasing their knowledge and understanding of China’s national conditions and culture. It has also sent youth volunteers to other Belt and Road countries such as Laos and Brunei to foster closer people-to-people ties and facilitate cultural exchanges and mutual learning.
– Strengthening cultural cooperation. China has participated in 33 projects for the joint preservation of cultural relics with 17 Belt and Road countries. These include the protection and restoration projects for Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Bagan Buddhist pagodas in Myanmar damaged in earthquakes, and the ancient city of Khiva in Uzbekistan, as well as joint archaeological activities at Rakhat Ancient Ruins in Kazakhstan and the Bikrampur ruins in Bangladesh.
China has launched a project known as Access to Satellite TV for 10,000 African Villages aimed at providing digital TV connection for rural communities in more than 20 African countries, opening a new window for them to see the world. It has provided assistance to projects for radio and TV centers in Seychelles, the Comoros, Tanzania and Mauritius to improve the transmission capacity of local radio and television networks, making them important vehicles for cultural communication in their respective localities.
IV. Contributing to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
As an active contributor to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, China has been assisting other developing countries to reduce poverty, boost agricultural progress, support equal access to education, improve infrastructure, and speed up industrialization.
1. Poverty Reduction
Eliminating poverty is the common aspiration of all peoples and a shared mission of the international community. The primary goal of the 2030 Agenda is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere”. China has been helping other developing countries to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives, by providing assistance in the construction of rural public facilities, sharing experience in agricultural governance, and offering technology transfer.
– Implementing poverty reduction pilot projects. China has been assisting other developing countries in alleviating poverty. In Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, China has launched pilot projects to promote its experience in village-by-village poverty reduction, improving local villages’ organizational ability, encouraging farmers to combine their efforts in agricultural activities, and cultivating a new vision for development to shake off poverty.
China has organized training programs and co-hosted seminars with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, to share ideas and actions in targeted poverty alleviation with other developing countries.
– Raising rural incomes. China has been assisting some countries in improving their rural living environment and meeting local needs in transport, work and life. For example, it helped Mauritania to build a highway in its Hope Delta to support local agriculture and animal husbandry.
China has also provided training in handicrafts based on local conditions. In Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Lesotho, Rwanda and the Central African Republic, China launched pilot projects on Juncao planting techniques, to help rural households to increase their incomes. In Liberia and Ethiopia, China imparted bamboo weaving techniques, encouraging farmers to tap local bamboo resources and start furniture businesses as a new source of income.
– Protecting special groups. Special groups are the most deserving recipients of poverty alleviation. China has been supporting other developing countries in formulating policies concerning people with disabilities, improving rehabilitation services for them, and enabling them to share the fruits of social development.
In Mongolia, Ecuador and Libya, China organized training programs on health care policies and rehabilitation services for special groups, which improved these countries’ capacity to alleviate poverty and provide better health care services for such groups. In Samoa, China helped set up a training center for people with disabilities, with the number of trainees rising from 150 to over 400, providing them with opportunities for basic education and skills training.
2. Food Security
Agriculture is the foundation of economic growth and social stability. China assists other developing countries to leverage their own strengths to accelerate agricultural progress and ensure food self-sufficiency and food security.
– Improving agro-productivity. By the end of 2019, China had dispatched 81 agro-technology teams composed of 808 experts to 37 Asian and African countries; China had assisted African countries in setting up 22 agro-technology pilot centers to promote high-yield crop varieties, helping farmers increase productivity and boost their confidence in development.
In Georgia, Chinese experts on plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation rolled out solar greenhouse planting techniques among farmers, which increased vegetable yields and ensured self-sufficiency. In Kyrgyzstan and Chad, China launched assistance projects to upgrade their irrigation systems, and offered agricultural machinery and supplies to ease local shortages.
In Laos, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, China provided timely aid during locust plagues to help restore agricultural production. In Cambodia, China offered assistance in modern agricultural planning, and supported the Stung Chikreng water resources development project, ensuring an 80 percent water supply rate for irrigation and replacing single cropping with double cropping in rice production.
– Cultivating agricultural research and technical personnel. Agricultural upgrading requires a talent pool. China has helped to build platforms to train rural technical personnel, including an agricultural school in Kratie, Cambodia, a Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre for scientific cooperation in agriculture with African countries, and a number of agro-technical cooperation programs in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada.
China has sent agricultural specialists overseas to offer technical training programs on raising rice yields in Côte d’Ivoire, upgrading aquaculture in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and improving coffee varieties and processing methods in East Timor. To provide technological support and services for agricultural development in Africa, China initiated a “10+10” cooperation mechanism between Chinese and African agricultural research institutes for the joint development of new crop varieties, technologies, and equipment suited to the African continent.
– Developing agro-industrial chains. China attaches great importance to offering assistance in post-agricultural production. It helped build a pig and cattle slaughterhouse in Cuba, an agro-product preliminary processing center in Cape Verde, a corn flour production plant in Zambia, and grain processing and storage facilities in East Timor, to improve their capacity to process and store agro-products, reduce post-production waste, and increase the added value of agro-products and farmers’ income.
In Tonga and Samoa, China promoted biogas technology and pig-biogas-vegetable circular agro-technology, and used agro-technology pilot centers to demonstrate how to develop a full industrial chain from production, storage, processing to marketing, share comprehensive agro-management experience, and support circular agriculture and sustainable production. In response to initiatives and campaigns by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), China has helped some countries to improve their food security.
3. Health Care
China always puts the people first and prioritizes the protection of lives. It has been supporting other developing countries in building their public health systems, improving their medical and health care services, and protecting people’s lives and health.
– Building public health systems. To help Africa improve its public health system and build the headquarters of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), China dispatched health experts to support its emergency command, epidemiological analysis, and disease control during a number of epidemics.
In tackling infectious diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis, China assisted Africa in carrying out a raft of disease control and health improvement programs. In Zanzibar, Tanzania, China provided technical assistance in schistosomiasis control and helped design prevention and treatment protocols, which lowered the local infection rate. In the Comoros, China assisted its malaria elimination program with an Artemisinin-based combination therapy, which ensured zero deaths and reduced the morbidity rate by 98 percent.
– Improving basic medical service capacity. In the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan, China provided aid to more than 50 medical infrastructure projects, playing an important role in protecting public health and training medical professionals. China offered medicines, equipment and consumables to other countries to ease their shortages of medical supplies.
China launched paired cooperation with medical institutions in over 20 countries, helping them to set up specialized hospital departments or improve the performance of existing departments. China assisted Trinidad and Tobago in establishing its own microneurosurgery and endoscopic neurosurgery departments. The Chinese medical team in Dominica introduced minimally invasive surgery to the country. Through such efforts, China has brought advanced treatment concepts and filled many medical technology gaps in the Caribbean region.
– Strengthening human resources for medical services. From 2015 to 2019, China dispatched 3,588 medical workers overseas in 202 groups, who provided treatment to 11 million patients, organized professional training for local medical staff, offered free mobile clinic services, and donated medicines and equipment; more than 1,500 of these Chinese medical workers were awarded presidential medals or other honors by the recipient countries, while one of them died on duty.
China has also sent short-term medical specialist teams overseas for particular diseases. In 25 countries, including Botswana, Eritrea, Morocco, Ghana, the Bahamas, Maldives, and Antigua and Barbuda, China launched 42 sight recovery activities under the Brightness Action program, providing 9,752 cataract surgeries. In Ghana and Tanzania, China carried out 170 heart surgeries under the Heart to Heart program.
4. Quality Education
Education is the foundation of development. China has been assisting other developing countries in providing fairer access to better education, by opening schools, training teachers, and increasing scholarships.
– Supporting basic education. Access to good education is the common aspiration of all children and teens in developing countries. It is also an important means to improve population quality and advance national development. In Nepal, Armenia, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru and Uruguay, China assisted in the construction of a number of primary and secondary schools, and offered computers, lab equipment, stationery and sporting goods to improve their basic education conditions.
In South Sudan, China provided technical assistance in education, including compiling customized primary school textbooks on mathematics, English and science, and printing 1.3 million copies of them for 150,000 teachers and students. In North Macedonia, China provided distance education equipment to 27 schools, helping improve local education, particularly in mountainous and rural areas, and promote balanced distribution of education resources.
– Developing higher education. China has been assisting other countries in improving higher education facilities and training high-caliber talent. China assisted construction projects such as the Emalus Campus of the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu, the Malawi University of Science and Technology, the teaching building of the Chinese Department at Kabul University in Afghanistan, the library at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the Kabala Campus of the University of Bamako in Mali. At Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, China helped establish the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre, offering courses on the protection and utilization of biodiversity and remote sensing of natural resources to improve local technology levels.
China has provided part-time degree and non-degree programs for foreign trainees. Since 2013, the Chinese government has sponsored more than 4,300 people from other developing countries to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees in China. To strengthen research cooperation and academic exchanges with partner countries to jointly train high-caliber personnel, China has launched the “20+20” Plan for higher education cooperation with Africa, and established the Atomic Energy Scholarship of China.
– Promoting vocational education. Vocational education is an important means for developing countries to generate demographic dividends and increase employment. In Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Egypt, Sudan, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea and Vanuatu, China helped set up technical schools and vocational training centers. In Azerbaijan, Ethiopia and Madagascar, China provided material support for improving their vocational and technical education.
The Omdurman Friendship Center for Vocational Training, supported by China, has become Sudan’s national vocational training base for teachers. In Djibouti and Egypt, China has established Lu Ban workshops to provide practical technical training to local youth through paired cooperation with Chinese vocational schools. China’s technical assistance to the vocational training center in Burkina Faso has helped boost the local vocational education market.
5. Gender Equality
Women are an important driving force for social progress. China has assisted other developing countries in promoting women’s development, creating more opportunities for women to succeed in life.
– Safeguarding women’s rights and interests. China has begun to implement the 100 maternal and child health care projects in developing countries, initiated by President Xi Jinping at the summits celebrating the UN’s 70th anniversary in 2015. Some of these projects are already in place in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Cape Verde, effectively ensuring basic health care services for local women.
In Zimbabwe, China launched a program for the prevention and treatment of cervical diseases, donated medicines and equipment for early diagnosis and treatment, and dispatched specialists to improve the expertise of local medical staff. China provided training programs to some countries on maternal and child health care, to help improve their clinical services in obstetrics and neonatology.
– Empowering women. China has reinforced its efforts to assist training for women in other developing countries, promoting vocational and technical training to increase women’s employment and their participation in political and economic activities.
Since 2013, China has offered over 60 capacity development and technical training programs for women in developing countries, and provided part-time degree and non-degrees programs on women’s leadership and social development, aiming to expand female officials’ capacity to participate in political and economic activities.
China has assisted other developing countries in building public facilities and energy infrastructure, enabling their people to enjoy a better life.
– Supporting the construction of public facilities. China aided the maintenance and renovation of public facilities such as the Algiers Opera House in Algeria, the National Wrestling Arena and the Museum of Black Civilizations in Senegal, the Culture Palace of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, and the Cotonou Convention Center in Benin. It provided assistance to some countries and the African Union in building conference centers and support facilities. It assisted Grenada, Guinea-Bissau and Tunisia in building, repairing and upgrading sports venues. All these projects aim to increase cultural and sporting activities in these countries and regions and enrich local cultural life.
The Development Center for Children with Disabilities in Mongolia, constructed with China’s assistance, is the largest multi-functional rehabilitation center of its kind in the country, and is renowned as “a happiness project”.
– Improving urban living environment. InSierra Leone, Burundi, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, the Philippines, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Serbia, China helped build urban arterial roads and upgrade congested sections to ease traffic flow. The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, built with China’s assistance to connect three adjacent islands, has become an artery of traffic in the Male Atoll, providing an alternative to the ferry as the only means of local transport.
In Syria, China provided 100 buses to expand urban transport capacity, which has facilitated travel and reconstruction in the recipient cities. China-aided projects on road repair and residential drainage in Sao Tome and Principe and those on water supply and sewage treatment in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, have addressed urban waterlogging and separated sewage from rainwater, thereby reducing pollution and improving local life quality.
– Expanding energy access. Depending on resource availability, China has assisted other countries in developing hydro, solar, wind, nuclear and geothermal power, and helped them to build power transmission, transformation and distribution networks.
In Cuba, China assisted the construction of a solar power station with an installed capacity of 9 MW and an annual power output of 12.85 million kWh, which filled a sizable gap in the local power supply. China aided Kyrgyzstan in rebuilding its power grid in the south, aided Tajikistan in a 500 kV power transmission and transformation project in the Districts of Republican Subordination, aided Laos in building a 230 kV power transmission line between Thavieng and Laksao, and aided Zambia in building a power transmission line between Kariba North and Kafue West. These projects have improved power grid connectivity in these countries, and played an important role in boosting their energy independence and industrialization.
7. Sustainable and Innovation-Driven Economic Growth
China has supported other developing countries in advancing industrialization, increasing the added value of their resources, boosting industrial employment, releasing the potential of the digital economy, and improving economic creativity and inclusiveness.
– Advancing Industrialization. Industrialization is a prerequisite for economic independence and an important means of creating employment and ending poverty. China has been supporting other developing countries in tapping their potential for competitive industrial capacity, modernizing their industrial systems, and increasing the added value of their resources, to accelerate the process of industrialization.
In Bangladesh, China assisted the construction of the Shahjalal Fertilizer Factory. Since it was put into operation in 2015, the factory has achieved a total output of 1.1 million tons and saved over US$400 million in foreign exchange. The China-aided fruit and vegetable processing plant in Cuba and the sulfuric acid plant in Tajikistan have raised local production efficiency and boosted local income and taxation revenues. Prioritizing localization, these programs have increased employment and improved labor skills for local people.
– Promoting the digital economy. China has assisted other countries in implementing 37 telecommunications infrastructure projects covering telecommunications networks and government information networks, to help them develop information and communications industries and narrow digital gaps.
Kenya’s national fiber optic cable network, built with China’s assistance, has greatly increased transmission speed, reduced communication costs, and boosted e-commerce, marking a great leap in the development of Kenya’s information and communications industries. China assisted the construction of the police command center and government hotline in Laos, and the integrated government information system in Papua New Guinea, helping the two countries to raise their administrative efficiency and increase the application of IT in governance. China assisted the third-phase project of Bangladesh’s e-government network, extending high-speed information and communications connectivity to 64 districts, 488 sub-districts, and 2,600 unions to cover 62 percent of its territory and population.
8. Eco-environmental Protection
Upholding the vision of harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature, China has proactively assisted other developing countries in promoting new energy, protecting the environment, and addressing climate change. China has shared its experience in green development, fulfilled its commitments under international conventions, and expanded international cooperation on wildlife protection and desertification control, to join other countries in preserving our beautiful planet.
– Developing clean energy. China has increased its support for renewable energy projects and assisted other developing countries in implementing clean energy programs.
In Gabon, China launched a clean energy pilot project to increase power supply while minimizing environmental impacts. In Kenya, China assisted the construction of the Garissa solar photovoltaic power plant, providing an average annual generation capacity of 76 GWh and an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 64,000 tons. In Fiji, China supported the construction of a number of small hydropower plants, to provide clean, stable and low-cost energy and replace annual diesel imports worth RMB6 million, helping the country to work towards the goal of making renewable energy 90 percent of its total energy consumption by 2025.
– Protecting biodiversity. Biodiversity is the foundation of human survival and development. China attaches great importance to biodiversity conservation, fulfilling its international obligations, and promoting international cooperation on wildlife protection.
China provided Zimbabwe, Kenya and Zambia with wildlife protection supplies, upgrading their equipment for combatting poaching and illegal wildlife trade and improving their wildlife protection capacity. China provided Mongolia with technical assistance for the management of Gobi bear habitats, by helping improve environmental quality and offering specialist equipment, to protect its “national treasure” from imminent extinction.
– Addressing climate change. China has promoted South-South cooperation on the response to climate change, helping other developing countries – particularly small island countries, African countries and least developed countries – to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
In 2015, China announced the establishment of a South-South Climate Cooperation Fund, and the plan to set up 10 pilot low-carbon industrial parks, start 100 climate mitigation and adaptation programs and provide climate change response training programs for 1,000 people in other developing countries, which have to date involved cooperation with 34 countries.
China assisted Laos and Ethiopia in formulating plans on environmental protection and clean energy development to accelerate their green and low-carbon transformation. China provided Myanmar with home solar power systems and clean cooking stoves, which reduced carbon emissions and protected forest resources. Ethiopia’s microsatellite, donated by China, was launched into space, helping the country improve its capacity for disaster monitoring and alerting, and for climate change response.
From 2013 to 2018, China organized over 200 training programs on climate change response and environmental protection, set up targeted degree and non-degree programs on environmental management and sustainable development, and trained some 5,000 people from other countries.
– Curbing desertification. China is happy to share with other countries its desertification control technology and experience, and has organized a number of training programs on curbing desertification and soil erosion.
China launched an international platform for technical assistance and exchange on desertification control in its Gansu Province, organizing 36 international training sessions on this topic. In 2006, China held the first training session on desertification control technology for Arab states, and up to now has organized 12 such sessions. China has also imparted bamboo and Juncao planting and processing techniques in other countries, which have effectively contained soil erosion and land degradation and protected the eco-environment.
– Conserving marine and forest resources. Oceans and forests are valuable natural resources. China helped countries like Jamaica with programs for hydrological and meteorological observation, assisted Uzbekistan in establishing pilot automatic weather stations, and supported research on marine disaster preparedness and mitigation.
China assisted Cape Verde in developing its plan for a maritime special economic zone and designing a blueprint for the exploitation and conservation of marine resources on Sao Vicente Island. China has launched cooperation with African countries on afforestation and forestry research, and provided Tanzania and the Comoros with fire engines and patrol vehicles to improve their forest resource management capacity.
V. Responding to Global Humanitarian Challenges Together
Public health risks, natural disasters, migrant and refugee crises, and many other humanitarian issues represent an ever greater threat to the whole world today. Pursuing common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, China always renders assistance to the best of its ability to countries in need, and contributes its strength to tackling major global challenges and improving the global governance system.
1. Providing Emergency Disaster Relief
Actively responding to the calls of the international community, China provided emergency humanitarian aid, including relief materials, rescue teams, and funds, to Indonesia, Mexico, Chile, the Solomon Islands, the Bahamas, El Salvador and other countries that had been struck by earthquakes, hurricanes or other devastating natural disasters.
In 2015 when Nepal was hit by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake, China rushed three batches of materials and more than 1,000 people to Nepal’s aid. The China International Search and Rescue Team was the first foreign heavy search and rescue team to arrive in Nepal to help with the relief work. In 2016, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake jolted Ecuador, China promptly delivered emergency humanitarian aid to the country, with five chartered flights loaded with relief materials to Quito, capital of Ecuador. When Cyclone Idai caused catastrophic damage to Southeast Africa in 2019, China also provided immediate emergency humanitarian aid in the form of goods to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, and sent a rescue team to Mozambique.
2. Responding to Public Health Emergencies
China provided emergency aid to the countries struck by Ebola, yellow fever, Zika, plague and other epidemics. It sent five rounds of emergency humanitarian aid worth US$120 million to 13 African countries immediately after Ebola broke out in West Africa, and dispatched nearly 1,200 medical workers and public health experts to Guinea and other affected countries. Standing together with African people through these tribulations, the medical teams quarantined and treated more than 900 cases, conducted tests on nearly 9,000 samples, and trained 13,000 local health workers. China built more than 10 laboratories and treatment centers in Ebola-hit countries. The Ebola treatment center in Liberia was finished in around 20 days, and the Sierra Leone-China Friendship Biological Safety Laboratory was designated as a national reference lab for viral hemorrhagic fever and a national biosafety training center.
In 2020, Covid-19 broke out in many places around the world and spread quickly. China not only ensured its own effective response and sufficient supplies, but also did all it could to aid and assist more than 150 countries and international organizations based on the severity of the outbreaks, their medical and supply capabilities, and their actual needs. This was China’s most intensive and largest-scale emergency humanitarian assistance mission since 1949.
3. Providing Food Aid to Cope with Famine
Extreme weather and military conflicts are threatening global food security. Strong El Niño events have caused famines in many places around the world. To help feed countries with poor crop yields, China has provided emergency food aid to over 50 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America since 2016, which has benefited over 10 million people. In cooperation with the World Food Programme, by the end of 2019 China had provided food aid to 24 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, to protect the most vulnerable populations from food shortage.
4. Assisting Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction
China plays an active role in international emergency response to natural disasters, and continues to offer its assistance in post-disaster recovery and reconstruction after the emergency rescue phase. Following its relief operations in the Philippines responding to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, China helped build 166 temporary buildings for 20 severely-stricken schools in the devastated city of Tacloban. It assisted Dominica in a rehabilitation project for the West Coast Road and a roof restoration project for the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital, and rebuilt six local schools after the passing of Hurricane Maria in 2017. China also cooperated with the UNDP in the Recovery Project in Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan of Pakistan, which benefited almost 10,000 families and 20,000 school children.
China emphasizes the importance of comprehensive recovery schemes for disaster-affected countries, providing systematic reconstruction support. In 2015, it developed a package of medium- and long-term aid plans for Nepal’s post-quake rehabilitation, covering infrastructure repair, support for people’s daily needs, cultural relics restoration, disaster preparation and response capacity, and other fields.
5. Improving Disaster Preparation and Mitigation
China has assisted many countries to overcome obstacles in funding and technology to help them improve their disaster response capacity. China’s support takes the form of building disaster management facilities, providing materials for their disaster relief reserves, supporting local communities in disaster preparation projects, offering response capacity training, and devising policies and plans for coping with disasters.
To strengthen the capacity for disaster monitoring and alerting, China established the Working Mechanism for the Belt and Road Earthquake Risk Reduction Cooperation together with 22 countries and international organizations, helped to build earthquake monitoring stations and networks in Nepal, Laos and Kenya, and established the China-ASEAN Earthquake and Tsunami Monitoring and Early-Warning System. In cooperation with the UNDP, China helped Maldives to use drones to monitor rising sea levels and floods to enable better disaster preparation and response in the country. Working with the United Kingdom and UNDP, China implemented the Community Based Disaster Management in Asia Programme, to reinforce the comprehensive disaster mitigation capability of Nepal and Bangladesh.
6. Easing Migrant and Refugee Crises
China always pays close attention to countries and peoples affected by wars, turmoil, hunger, or poverty, and renders selfless assistance to them. In cooperation with the UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, International Organization for Migration, International Committee of the Red Cross, and other organizations, it has provided emergency humanitarian relief materials such as food, daily necessities, power generators and temporary housing to refugees from Syria and other countries and displaced people in many places, in order to help countries concerned to overcome their difficulties. China also donated anti-epidemic supplies to assist refugees through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
China supports the efforts of countries affected by migrant and refugee crises to restore their economic and social order and to address deep-rooted causes of the crises through development. It has funded the rehabilitation of an activity center for Palestinian refugees in Iraq to improve their living environment, and opened two schools in Lunda Norte Province of Angola to give refugee children access to education there.
VI. Supporting the Endogenous Growth of Developing Countries
Guided by the conviction that “it is more helpful to teach people how to fish than to just give them fish”, China aims to help developing countries to enhance their capacity for independent development. It has increased targeted assistance for this purpose through human resources development and technical cooperation, in new forms and with new measures, to share its experience and approach with other developing countries, help them improve their capacity for governance, planning, and economic development, and train technical professionals and capable personnel in governance.
1. Improving Governance
China has helped other developing countries increase their governance capacity by assisting with their national planning, sharing its governance experience with them, and implementing capacity building projects through bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms.
– Assistance in planning. China has assisted other developing countries to draw up sound blueprints for growth, dispatching 39 senior planning consultants to a number of countries to help formulate plans, policies, and regulations regarding the economy, infrastructure, and the power sector. It helped Grenada to draw up a national development plan and submitted the draft in 2017. It dispatched a team of senior experts in customs, taxation and agriculture to Ethiopia and Cambodia to provide intellectual support for trade and investment facilitation. China worked jointly with Cuba to compile a medium- to long-term development plan which outlined the vision and development path for Cuba’s machinery, metallurgy, chemical and recycling industries. It helped Cambodia to improve its transport system and agricultural productivity by formulating plans for a national road network and modern agriculture. It also helped Laos with its land resources and environmental protection planning, and assisted Bangladesh and other countries with plans for river management and flood control to develop their water resources.
– Sharing experience of governance. Through seminars and academic programs, China has shared its experience in strengthening law-based governance, its reforms to streamline administration, delegate powers, improve regulation, and strengthen services, and its experience with industrial innovation and upgrading and the digital economy, to help officials in the public sector in other developing countries increase their policy-making capacity. It has also strengthened the mechanisms for bilateral human resources development and cooperation, signing memorandums on this issue with 31 countries, including Rwanda, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea, and Trinidad and Tobago, to provide targeted support in these countries based on their needs.
– Building skills under multilateral frameworks. China has been actively cooperating with international organizations to build skills in other developing countries. Through the Trust Fund Project on Statistical Capacity Building launched together with the UN, China has provided training for some 900 government statisticians from 59 developing countries. It has also built skills in some countries in the form of joint studies and international seminars through funds and scholarships set up with the African Development Bank, West African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Organization of American States. In cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization, China has trained some 600 senior civil aviation managers from 105 developing countries through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund. Working with the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has trained more than 2,000 people from over 70 developing countries to engage in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear technology.
2. Promoting Technological Progress
Science and technology are the primary productive forces. China has strengthened technology transfer and application to help other developing countries improve their capacity for technological innovation and their workers’ industrial and vocational skills.
– Sharing technological achievements. China has shared its achievements in science and technology with other developing countries, and opened training programs on space and satellite applications, 3D printing technology, metering technology, and marine biotechnology. It has run more than 1,000 intergovernmental technical exchanges programs. Through a program for international outstanding young scientists, 755 scientists from Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar and India came to work in China on various research projects, and more than 7,700 people from over 100 developing countries and regions were trained in China. Under the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme, China has transferred more than 450 applicable technologies to Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and conducted experiments on some 300 strains of crops and vegetables, benefitting more than 30,000 farmers.
– Promoting technology transfer. Technology is for people to use. To make technology useful, China has founded transnational technology transfer centers targeted at ASEAN, South Asian and Arab countries to introduce advanced and applicable technologies through technical dovetailing, demonstration and training programs. It has set up joint laboratories and research centers with Ethiopia, Indonesia, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Serbia, to localize applicable and mature technologies from China, such as biopolymer application and small hydropower stations.
– Improving vocational skills. To ensure other developing countries have a qualified workforce with more technical personnel supporting sustainable growth, China has organized training in a wide range of fields, including agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, processing and manufacturing, construction, science, education, culture, health, and arts and handicrafts. The Belt and Road International Skills Competition, held in May 2019 to promote skills cooperation for common development, provided a sound platform for developing countries to demonstrate their workers’ skills and boost employment and entrepreneurship. Through technical cooperation and training, China has supported Morocco and Ethiopia in geochemical mapping, and trained skilled workers for their mining industry.
– Increasing sports competitiveness. China has sent experienced table tennis and badminton coaches to Uruguay, Samoa, Myanmar and Cambodia, to help train their athletes and coaches in theory and in the field. At the 16th Pacific Games in 2019, Tongan athletes trained by Chinese coaches won 9 gold, 5 silver, and 14 bronze medals, and the Papua New Guinea table tennis team won 2 silvers, the team’s best ever performance. China has offered assistance for developing countries organizing large cultural and sports events, such as technical training for the mass performance and assistance with the opening and closing ceremonies at the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, the 50th anniversary of Zambia’s independence celebrations, and the 11th African Games in the Republic of the Congo.
VII. Strengthening International Exchanges and Tripartite Cooperation
The global development partnership is an important part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China is an active advocate and practitioner of this partnership. We have held dialogues and exchanges with international institutions and bilateral donors to explore and conduct tripartite cooperation with an open and pragmatic attitude, thus injecting new impetus into international cooperation.
1. China’s Position on Exchanges and Tripartite Cooperation
China is open to exchanges and tripartite cooperation in the field of international development, and will, as a developing country, seek such cooperation with various parties to extend international development cooperation and enhance its capacity in this field.
– Working for a more equitable and balanced global development partnership. China upholds the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” and regards North-South cooperation as the main channel for international development cooperation and South-South cooperation as its complement.
We urge developed countries to honor their official development assistance commitments on time and in full, provide more assistance to developing countries, especially the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing countries, and help them to explore development paths in line with their national conditions.
We encourage developing countries to expand South-South cooperation and strive to achieve unity and self-reliance. We believe international organizations with the UN at the core should make full use of their strengths, extend information sharing and coordination with all parties, and actively promote international development cooperation through multilateral channels. We encourage the private sector, NGOs and social groups, and charitable organizations to play a greater role.
– Steadily advancing tripartite cooperation in international development.China has accumulated a lot of experience in the process of its own development, while developed countries and international organizations have an edge in capital and technology. China is ready to explore cooperation approaches with other parties that will complement the strengths of each and achieve greater synergy, so as to bring maximum benefits to recipient countries.
All parties should advance tripartite cooperation in steps, as it covers a wide range of areas and involves hard work, and countries differ in their models of and approaches to cooperation. In tripartite cooperation, we should fully respect the policies, ideas and models of all parties, uphold the principle of mutual respect and mutual learning, enhance mutual understanding and trust, and lay a good foundation for trilateral cooperation. China is ready to draw on successful international experience and effective practices.
– Fully respecting the controlling voice of recipient countries in tripartite cooperation. In the final analysis, the goal of tripartite cooperation is to benefit the recipient countries. It is thus necessary to fully respect their sovereignty and controlling voice based on the principle that projects should be proposed, agreed and led by the recipient countries. The criteria are whether the recipient countries welcome, approve of, and are satisfied with the cooperation programs. Cooperation should focus on meeting the humanitarian and employment needs of the recipient countries and improving local people’s lives, and enhancing their capacity in independent and sustainable development.
2. Advancing Dialogue, Exchanges and Pragmatic Cooperation
Based on the principle of openness and inclusiveness, China has advanced communication and exchanges with countries and organizations and carried out pragmatic and tripartite cooperation.
– Holding in-depth dialogue and discussions. China has actively participated in international conferences and activities such as the Second High-Level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation and the Fifth International Meeting on Triangular Cooperation.
In 2019, China participated in the European Development Days, communicating with all parties on strengthening international development cooperation and on helping developing countries achieve inclusive growth. China co-hosted seminars with the UN development system in China to exchange views and build consensus on South-South cooperation and sustainable development.
China has actively advanced reform of the World Bank’s governance structure to increase the representation and voice of developing countries. To expand understanding, mutual learning, mutual trust and cooperation, we have strengthened exchanges with bilateral donors and conducted exchanges and visits with more than 10 countries and regional organizations, including Japan, Switzerland, the UK, France, Norway, New Zealand, and the European Union. In 2019, China held bureau-level policy consultations with Japan and the EU on international development cooperation.
– Carrying out pragmatic cooperation with international organizations. Since 2016, China has cooperated through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund with more than 10 international organizations and NGOs such as the UNDP, WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, and ICRC. Through these organizations and leveraging their expertise and channels, China has helped implement development cooperation programs in the fields of food assistance, post-disaster reconstruction, refugee relief, and health for women and children in nearly 50 countries in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and some other regions, benefiting more than 20 million people in developing countries.
For example, China worked with UNICEF in providing assistance to about 250,000 Somali women and children with severe acute malnutrition. We worked with the UNDP on case studies and jointly published research reports at the UN headquarters, presenting China’s effective agricultural aid and experience through an agro-technical cooperation program in Guinea-Bissau and an agro-technical pilot center in Mozambique, making our aid process more transparent. The UNESCO-China Funds-in-Trust Project was launched, which has benefited over 10,000 teachers from more than 10 African countries.
– Carrying out tripartite cooperation programs. China has carried out cooperation programs with official and unofficial donors such as Switzerland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to meet local needs in agriculture, health and other areas.
For example, China cooperated with Portugal to organize training courses in East Timor on mariculture technology. We worked with the US to train health officials for African countries and to support these countries in fighting the Ebola virus. We cooperated with the UK in implementing pilot projects – a cassava industrial chain in Uganda and a tilapia industrial chain in Malawi. In cooperation with Australia, we carried out a malaria prevention and control program in Papua New Guinea and helped the country to found a network of provincial-level malaria laboratories, thus enhancing its capabilities in routine malaria diagnosis and monitoring.
– Increasing donations. China has increased its donations to the World Bank’s International Development Association, Asian Development Fund, Global Environment Facility and other international organizations to support poverty reduction and sustainable development in developing countries, especially the least developed countries.
By the end of 2018, China had donated US$939 million and RMB800 million to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, US$356 million and RMB59 million to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, and US$49 million and RMB41 million to the Caribbean Development Bank to support Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean in many areas including poverty reduction, food security, trade, medical care, disaster management, education, and environmental protection. China donated US$80 million to establish a FAO-China South-South Cooperation Trust Fund, which has supported agricultural cooperation projects in some 30 countries, benefiting more than one million local farmers. China also provided US$50 million and US$4 million respectively to the project preparation funds of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, to support member countries in their pre-project design.
– Promoting co-financing. China has strengthened exchanges and cooperation with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other multilateral and bilateral financial institutions to provide financial support to some countries.
We established the China-World Bank Group Partnership Facility with the World Bank, and set up the People’s Republic of China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund in the ADB. We invested US$2 billion to establish the Africa Growing Together Fund with the AfDB and the same amount to establish the China Co-Financing Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean with the IDB.
By the end of 2018, these co-financing mechanisms had invested about US$3 billion in nearly 200 projects covering water supply and sanitation, transport, agriculture, youth employment and other areas.
VIII. Future Prospects for China’s International Development Cooperation
The Covid-19 pandemic poses a huge threat to the lives, safety, health, and wellbeing of people throughout the world, creating significant challenges for global public health security. Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development remains a long and uphill journey. In the future, China will continue to uphold the vision of a global community of shared future, and follow the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests. It will do everything within its means to promote cooperation and inject Chinese strength into global development.
1. Contributing to a Global Community of Health for All
We will continue to support developing countries in their fight against the pandemic according to their actual needs and to the best of our abilities, thus making our contribution to safeguarding global health.
– Doing all we can to support developing countries in the fight against Covid-19. China will continue to offer medical supplies to all parties concerned, engage in cooperation on medical technologies, and dispatch medical expert teams. We will give US$2 billion of international aid over two years to countries hard hit by Covid-19, especially developing countries, in supporting their fight against the virus and their efforts to resume economic and social development. China will continue to share without reserve information and experiences with the WHO and the international community, and engage in international cooperation on the research and development of testing methods, clinical treatments, drugs and vaccines to stem the global spread of the virus as soon as possible and safeguard global public health.
– Helping developing countries to improve their public health systems. Since Covid-19 appeared, deficiencies and weak links have been exposed in the public health systems of many countries. We should jointly strengthen public health systems through solidarity and cooperation. China will work with the WHO to help developing countries, especially African countries, fortify their public health defenses and improve the speed of their response and their capacity for disease control, through establishing a cooperation mechanism for Chinese hospitals to pair up with 30 African hospitals and accelerating construction on the Africa CDC headquarters.
– Supporting the WHO and other international organizations in playing key roles. The WHO has made a significant contribution to the fight against the pandemic by leading and encouraging global cooperation. To support the WHO is to support global cooperation in the fight against the pandemic and support the effort to save lives. China will continue to support the WHO in playing its role, and call on the international community to give it more political and financial support, so that it can mobilize the necessary resources worldwide to defeat this virus. We will continue to support multilateral organizations, including the G20, APEC, BRICS, and SCO in increasing exchanges and coordination and in carrying out international cooperation on joint prevention and control.
2. Promoting Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda
China will persevere with a people-centered approach, focus on improving living standards, and join forces with other developing countries in responding to global challenges.
– Fulfilling commitments and international obligations. We will earnestly implement the cooperation initiatives announced by President Xi Jinping at major international events including the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the summits commemorating the UN’s 70th anniversary, the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the 73rd World Health Assembly, and the high-level meetings marking the UN’s 75th anniversary. In keeping with its comprehensive national strength and due international responsibilities, China will steadily increase assistance to other developing countries, especially the least developed countries, helping them to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.
– Upholding coordination and promoting common development. In the face of the impact of Covid-19, the Belt and Road Initiative has continued to show great vitality, giving confidence to participating countries and providing a realistic choice. China will work to integrate its responsibilities in building the Belt and Road and in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthen coordination of international macroeconomic policies to respond to the concerns of developing countries, support more pragmatic approaches to the resumption of work, and safeguard the stable and smooth operation of international industrial and supply chains.
– Improving lives and sharing happiness. China will take eliminating poverty and improving people’s lives as its ultimate objective, and 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. Special attention will be given to creating more jobs for young people, safeguarding the interests of vulnerable groups including women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities, and launching more initiatives to benefit the wider public so that they can have a stronger sense of fulfillment and happiness.
– Promoting South-South cooperation and acting as a major and responsible country. China will continue to share without reserve its governance experience and all appropriate technology. We will increase the supply of global public goods, channel more resources to developing countries to support their sustainable economic and social development, and do more to help them remove development blockages. China will increase assistance to participating countries of the Belt and Road Initiative, the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing countries and heavily indebted poor countries, help reinforce the South which is a weak link in the global governance system, and push for the integration of more developing countries into international division of labor and cooperation.
– Strengthening solidarity to meet global challenges. China firmly supports multilateralism, and takes an active part in bilateral and multilateral dialogue and cooperation on international development. We work to improve global governance in international development cooperation, and safeguard the international system with the UN at its core. We will give more financial support to international organizations, helping them work together to meet global challenges including public health crises, food security threats, and economic recession. We will enhance communication and coordination with other countries and international organizations, discuss and advance tripartite cooperation with countries and international and regional organizations on the basis of fully respecting the sovereignty and will of recipient countries, and seek to break new ground in international development cooperation.
3. Improving the Capacity for Cooperation
China will optimize management, improve its policy-making and management skills, and strive to enhance the quality of international development cooperation.
– Reinforcingplanning and strengthening the institutional framework. We will devise medium- and long-term foreign aid plans and targeted plans for different regions, countries and projects as needed, while taking full account of other developing countries’ development priorities and needs, and the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative and the UN 2030 Agenda. China will continue to improve relevant laws, regulations and institutions, providing a legal guarantee for international development cooperation. The inter-ministerial coordination mechanism for foreign aid will play a more active role, and we will forge synergy at all levels, coordinate efforts by central departments, local governments and social organizations, pool premium resources, and enhance cohesion and efficiency.
– Improving project management and exploring new approaches to aid. We will strengthen the whole process of managing aid projects and increase their overall efficiency. We will invest more on the feasibility studies of aid projects, analyzing their environmental impact, and evaluating post-project operation and management, so as to make sound and rational decisions and improve the reserve of projects. We will steadily advance the model where the recipient countries implement the projects with funding and technical support. This will help fuel local employment and improve the ability of the recipient countries to sustain their own development. China will continue cooperation on human resources development, share development experiences, and disseminate appropriate technology, providing intellectual support for sustainable economic and social development in other developing countries. We will enrich the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund with diversified partners and cooperation models, and build partnerships for international development cooperation.
– Enhancing supervision and evaluation to improve project efficacy. Coordinated supervision and management mechanisms will be put in place, in which each party performs its own functions and power carries accountability. We will strengthen oversight over key links and improve project management through routine and special supervisory measures. We will develop complete systems of impartial and independent project evaluation, set sound and effective evaluation standards, conduct comprehensive evaluation and special evaluation, and strengthen the application of evaluation results. Based on its own national conditions and drawing experience from international practices, China will work to revise and improve the statistical indicator system of foreign aid, and develop a modern statistical information system for foreign assistance.
The world is undergoing rapid and unprecedented change unseen in a century. However, peace and development remain the theme of our time, and mutually beneficial cooperation for common development remains the way forward. Confronted by acute global challenges, no country can achieve lasting stability and development without solidarity, cooperation, and a partnership featuring peaceful and mutually beneficial cooperation, equality, openness, inclusiveness and shared growth.
China has entered a new development phase and is about to embark on a quest to fully build itself into a modern socialist country. It always considers its own growth in the context of the common development of all humanity. It closely relates its future to the fortunes of other countries, and binds the interests of the Chinese people to the common interests of all peoples. China will stay true to its original principles regarding international development cooperation. As a builder of world peace, a contributor to global prosperity and a defender of international order, it will continue to cooperate on international development and contribute even more to improving the common wellbeing of humanity and building a global community of shared future.
1 In this book, “international development cooperation” refers to China’s bilateral and multilateral efforts, within the framework of South-South cooperation, to promote economic and social development through foreign aid, humanitarian assistance, and other means.