U.S.-China Parallel Development Assistance Goals

Xiaoqing Lu Boynton, Conor M. Savoy
Content Type
Working Paper
Center for Strategic and International Studies
As China's economy expanded in recent decades, there has been a corresponding rise in the amount of foreign assistance it offers to the developing world. In particular, China increased aid to countries in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Some of China's methods and objectives are controversial with the international aid community. Critics accuse China of frequently following a “mercantilist” strategy in using aid and loans in order to secure natural resources such as oil and raw materials. One commentator went so far as to describe Chinese aid as “rogue aid,” because it is driven by self-interest and not what is best for the developing world.1In remarks widely interpreted as aimed at China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently warned countries to be “wary of donors who are more interested in extracting your resources than in building your capacity.”2Added to these feelings, China treats the methodology of its aid as a competitive asset and has sought to distance itself from international efforts at creating a cooperative framework for foreign assistance. In spite of this, since the second term of the Bush administration, the United States has sought to engage with China on international development. This includes high-level meetings be-tween the heads of China's foreign aid bureaucracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as on-the-ground attempts to find common ground on development.
Development, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
Political Geography
United States, China, Israel, Southeast Asia