In 2013, China’s bilateral co-operation reached USD 2.8 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 3.0 billion in 2013. The second White Paper on China’s Foreign Aid was published in 2014 and includes information on the overall geographical and sectoral distribution of the Chinese programme between 2010 and 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. TThe Ministry of Commerce’s 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 (the latter are not included in OECD estimates because no information is available these loans).
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 (71%) and regional development banks (24%).