In 2013, China’s bilateral co-operation reached USD 3.1 billion, compared to USD 2.6 billion in 2012 (OECD estimates). Including developmental funds channelled through multilateral organisations, the OECD estimates that China’s total concessional finance for development reached USD 2.8 billion in 2012.
The Eight Principles for Economic Aid and Technical Assistance to Other Countries, announced by Premier Zhou Enlai in 1964, set out the core principles of China’s foreign aid. The Ministry of Commerce’s (MOFCOM) Department of Foreign Assistance is at the centre of the Chinese system and manages over 90% of its bilateral funding. It is responsible for drafting the aid budget and aid regulations, managing foreign aid joint ventures, programming zero-interest loans and grants, and co‑ordinating concessional loans with the China ExImbank.
China does not have specific priority countries (aside from North Korea). Its grant aid is distributed more or less equally to some 120 partner countries. The main sectors are public facilities, industry and economic infrastructure. China offers eight different forms of co‑operation with complete projects (turn‑key projects) being the major modality. China also provides humanitarian assistance.
China is also starting to become engaged in triangular co-operation, partnering with several international organisations (e.g. United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the World Bank) and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members (e.g. New Zealand and the United States).
China’s development co‑operation through multilateral organisations was primarily channelled through the United Nations (45%), the World Bank Group (29%) and regional development banks (26%) in 2012. Its main multilateral partners were the International Development Association and the African Development Bank.
China is a Key Partner of the OECD. In 2013, Chair of the DAC visited China to open a roundtable discussion on effective development co-operation organised by the China-DAC Study Group. The OECD and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in France also organised a seminar at the OECD to share views on promoting development. China participated, as an observer, in the OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review of Switzerland and attended the DAC Senior‑Level Meeting. China also contributed to the DAC’s work on triangular co-operation and aid for trade.