IDS Bulletin 52.2

China and International Development: Knowledge, Governance, and Practice

Published on 29 November 2021

China’s global engagement with the developing world is changing rapidly in an era where ‘traditional’ aid discourses and the practices of new ‘emerging powers’ in development cooperation are evolving. As the largest South–South cooperation (SSC) provider and the second largest economy in the world, China’s development activities overseas have spurred intense debate over its role as a rising power in international development.

This image is off a green field in Chongqing, Southwest China.
Image: © Yufeng Hou

Fast-growing activities present both internal and external challenges for China and the world. How to address these challenges and knowledge gaps will not only determine China’s internal governance on development issues, but also its external activities and behaviours that are now having a profound global impact.

This issue of the IDS Bulletin brings together studies of the primary institutions and policies that are guiding China’s activities in development cooperation, focusing on the question of what China contributes to international development and the implications for global development cooperation. It also explores a range of cross-cutting topics including: the new Asian development finance and the potential impact of China on development thinking and policies, and China’s development practice and the effectiveness of SSC and triangular cooperation.

China’s new initiatives and practices in development cooperation, distinctive from that provided by traditional donors, will reshape the landscape of global development, leading to the generation of new development knowledge and global development cooperation governance architecture. Given China’s growing prominence as a source of development finance, and as an institutional player, there is a real need for greater mutual understanding to promote effective healthy competition in development cooperation.

Table of contents

Whose Knowledge? Whose Influence? Changing Dynamics of China’s Development Cooperation Policy and Practice
Jing Gu, Xiaoyun Li and Chuanhong Zhang

Mutual Learning in Development Cooperation: China and the West
Jiantuo Yu and Evan Due

The New Asian Development Finance
Karin Costa Vazquez and Yu Zheng

Exploring China’s Impacts on Development Thinking and Policies
Jiajun Xu and Richard Carey

China’s NGO Partnerships in a New Era of Development Cooperation
Anthea Mulakala, Robin Bush and Hongbo Ji

Ownership and Effectiveness of China’s Aid Projects in Africa
Chuanhong Zhang, Xiaoyun Li and Dawit Alemu

Selective Learning: China, the CGIAR, and Global Agricultural Science in Flux
Xiuli Xu, Lídia Cabral and Yingdan Cao

Chinese Foundations and the Challenge of ‘Going International’
Lindan Tan and Huib Huyse

Triangular Cooperation: Different Approaches, Same Modality
Sebastian Prantz and Xiaomin Zhang

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Cite this publication

Li, X.; Gu, J. and Zhang, C. (eds) 'China and International Development: Knowledge, Governance, and Practice', IDS Bulletin 52.2, Brighton: IDS


Jing Gu

Research Fellow, Centre Director

Chuanhong Zhang
Xiaoyun Li

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