China and International Development Cooperation

China is now the African continent's biggest trading partner. It is also involved in a wide range of development cooperation projects across the continent in fields ranging from health and social policy to agriculture. The Rising Powers in International Development Programme is looking at the growing role of China in the field of international development cooperation.

Chinese and African workers on the construction site of a station and railway which is part of a devlopment aid project by China in Angola in exchange for petroleum. Credit: D. Telemans / Panos

As a key member of the BRICS and with recent experiences in rapid economic growth, China plays an increasingly important role – both as a development cooperation partner and as a source of development experiences – to many low-income countries.

China has achieved remarkable success with its own development. But rather than join the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) regime of traditional donors, it has instead chosen to construct ties of South-South cooperation with low-income countries, often through bilateral development partnership agreements.

What does China's emergence as a net donor, which gives more aid than it receives, tell us about changes in global aid policy?

State of the Debate Study

Building on a long tradition of IDS work on China as a development actor, including the Asian Drivers Programme, and extensive work by Jing Gu on China's private sector development in Africa, the RPID programme will produce a flagship 'State of the Debate' study. This will analyse China's domestic policy debate on international development cooperation.

A special, forthcoming IDS Bulletin issue, edited by Jing Gu, Gerry Bloom and Xiulan Zhang and titled 'China and International Development: Opportunities and Challenges' is also being hosted within the RPID programme.

Image credit: Dieter Telemans / Panos

Key contact

Photo of Jing Gu

T: +44 (0)1273 915692


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Photo of Gerry Bloom, Research Fellow of the Knowledge Technology and Society team

T: +44 (0)1273 915667


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