Closer cooperation between UK and China critical to reducing poverty and accelerating sustainability

21 October 2015

IDS is taking steps to strengthen relationships with leading experts on development in China, as part of an overall strategy to generate high quality research and knowledge in partnership, with those at the heart of change in global development.

The Prime Minister David Cameron attends a bilateral meeting with the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping - part of President Xi's State Visit to the UK in October 2015. Credit - Number 10 - Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

China is stepping up its engagement in global development, with President Xi Jinping pledging billions of dollars in aid and investments at last month’s UN Summit, and playing a leadership role in the launch of two major new financial institutions, the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development (BRICS) Bank, which will be based in Shanghai. China has also been operational on the ground, for example, being involved in the international response to the Ebola crisis, or sending peackeeping troops to South Sudan.

President Xi's visit to the UK this week signifies the growing importance of the UK-China relationship, and top of agenda will be discussions on how the two countries can work together on global issues such as climate change and tackling poverty.

IDS builds on existing partnerships and work with China

Earlier this year IDS, launched the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development, to build on its work in both China and other rising powers such as India and Brazil, and a Sustainability Hub in Beijing as part of the STEPS Centre. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Development Research Center of the State Council of the People's Republic of China (DRC), and later this week, IDS will be receiving a delegation of researchers from the DRC to further discuss mutual research interests and build an agenda for strengthened cooperation.

IDS has been invited to become a Founding Member of the new Silk Road Think Tank Network (SiLKS), which will be launched in Madrid at the end of this month. IDS is also due to launch a partnership with the Institute of Sociology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on adapting health and welfare systems to a context of rapid change.

IDS Director, Professor Melissa Leach said: “Rising powers such as China have an increasingly important role to play as we move into a new era of global development defined by the Global Goals for sustainable development and a new climate change agreement due to be agreed later in the year. At IDS, our work on rising powers and global development provides a unique body of evidence around lessons learnt from countries such as China, India and Brazil's own rapid development, their contribution to others’ development through South-South Cooperation and their influence on global governance, development finance and technological innovation.”

Image: UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Credit: Number 10 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)