Aid from China nourishes developing world

08:44, April 22, 2011      

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China's growing foreign aid to developing countries will help bring stable and balanced development to the world economy, experts said.

By the end of 2009, China's foreign aid reached 256 billion yuan ($39 billion), according to a white paper on China's foreign aid released by the Information Office of the State Council.

That consisted of 106 billion yuan in grants, 76 billion yuan in interest-free loans, and 73 billion yuan in low-interest loans.

China has currently extended foreign aid to 161 countries and more than 30 international and regional organizations.

More than 80 percent of the country's foreign aid flowed to Asian and African countries, the white paper said.

Shu Yunguo, director of the Center of African Studies at Shanghai Normal University, said China's growing foreign aid plays a critical role in enhancing China-Africa ties.

"With no political conditions attached, China's foreign aid is quite popular with African countries and has substantially improved the livelihood of local people," he said.

"Enhanced ties among developing countries can provide solutions to many existing problems in the current world economic system, and may create a better global economic order," he added.

China's foreign aid mainly focuses on sectors such as agriculture, industry and infrastructure. It has also been extended to address the problem of global climate change in recent years, the white paper said.

He Wenping, chief of African studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the countries receiving China's foreign aid can benefit from its development experience.

"With so many things in common, it is more practical for developing countries to use China's experience as a reference to address problems in economic development," she said.

"In sharing experiences and striving for better cooperation among developing countries, China is helping foster a more stable economic development for the world," she added.

According to the white paper, the country will continue to deepen cooperation among developing countries and improve their capability for self-development.

"Being the world's second largest economy, China will shoulder more global responsibility and its foreign aid is expected to continue to increase," He said.

China's foreign aid has assisted the building of more than 130 schools and provided scholarships for more than 70,600 overseas students in 119 developing countries to come and study in China.

In addressing climate change, China has worked with countries such as Guinea and Cuba in developing methane technologies, helped the construction of hydropower facilities in countries such as Cameroon and Burundi, and cooperated with countries such as Mongolia, Lebanon and Morocco in developing solar and wind energy, the white paper said.

Source:China Daily
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