The role of China in international development rose to prominence from around 2005 as it became clear that a new wave of Chinese actors was engaging in public and private activities in the global South.
This has implications for low income countries for which China may offer an alternative model of partnership and development. It further has implications for the policies and practices of international aid and the relationships between China and established donors. Failure to understand and engage constructively with these implications of China’s rise could mean missing a crucial opportunity to reverse the fortunes of countries in the global South.
This paper is the first of a two-part series on China as a Rising Power and what this means for low income countries and the international development community. This paper emerged out of the ESRC-funded project ‘China as the new ‘shaper’ of global development’, ESRC Grant Reference: RES-075-25-0019. The paper explores the different understandings and practices of development in China and the European Union. The paper reflects on differences and similarities between the old and the new powers in relation to international development, aid and the interests, actors, policies and practices involved.