Former World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin calls for China – UK – Africa cooperation to promote growth

29 October 2015

IDS and Chair of the International Select Committee hosted a discussion on how the UK and China can work together to tackle global challenges

Left to right: Li Xiaoyun, Jing Gu, Stephen Twigg MP (chair of IDC), Fiona Bruce MP, Justin Lin and Jeremy Lefroy MP.

Left to right: Li Xiaoyun, Jing Gu, Stephen Twigg MP (chair of IDC), Fiona Bruce MP, Justin Lin and Jeremy Lefroy MP

To coincide with the State Visit by China’s President, Xi Jinping, IDS’ Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development held a high level discussion at the UK Houses of Parliament last week, to discuss China’s role in international development cooperation. 

Hosted by Stephen Twigg MP, Chair of the International Development Committee and attended by Committee members, the discussion was led by speakers Justin Lin, former World Bank Chief economist and Honorary Dean and Professor with the Peking University National School of Development, Li Xiaoyun, professor and former dean of China Agricultural University’s College of Humanities and Development, and president of China International Development Research Network and Jing Gu, IDS Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development.

Along with the State Visit, the timely discussion also came ahead of China taking over the G20 leadership next year, a new climate change agreement to be negotiated later this year and as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and New Development Bank have recently been launched.

The speakers discussed the significant progress made by China in reducing domestic poverty and what can be learned from China as countries around the world begin to get to grips with the new Sustainable Development Goals. Justin Lin highlighted what can be learnt from China around growth in particular, calling for China - UK - Africa triangulation, using the UK’s market potential with China’s technology and Africa’s labour force to help unlock potential growth opportunities and reduce poverty.  He also explained that the UK’s reputation on the world stage should be used to build further connections and shared learning between China and developing countries. 

Jing Gu and Li Xiaoyun also discussed the importance of forging cooperation between rising powers and how the success of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets to reduce poverty and inequality would rely on countries from the BRICS group, such as China and India.

The discussion was part of a week of activity focused around the roles of China and the UK in global development, including IDS Director, Melissa Leach speaking at the UK-China Development Forum held at Chatham House, and IDS hosting a delegation from the Chinese State Council’s Development Research Centre (DRC), following on from an MOU that was signed with the DRC earlier this year.