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A Double-Edged Chinese Sword

by Heiko Herold

China’s Development Cooperation as a Challenge and an Opportunity

The People's Republic of China is still an OECD-classified developing country. At the same time, the world's second largest economy has become one of the largest donors in development cooperation in recent years. China defines itself as a development partner in the South-South cooperation and is promoting its economic and geostrategic ambitions within this framework. For German development policy, this approach presents both: a challenge and an opportunity.

The analysis of China's development policy marks the start of a series of publications in which the role and approaches of non-traditional donors in development cooperation are analysed.
The People's Republic of China is using the instrument of development cooperation in a targeted manner to promote and assert its own global interests, and with ever-increasing resources. In contrast to western donor countries, China, as a non-member of the OECD Development Committee (DAC), is not bound by its standards. Western actors, for example, criticize the opacity of Chinese development cooperation. While the Chinese approach is offering developing countries an alternative partnership that is not based on Western values, but – officially – the principles of South-South cooperation, China’s development activities also entail risks for partner countries, for example with regard to debt sustainability.
Our China expert Heiko Herold explains the principles, priorities and developments that shape Chinese development policy and what this means for German development cooperation.


Read the entire monitor here as a PDF.


Heiko Herold


Leiter des Auslandsbüros Shanghai (in Vorbereitung)
Jaxport / flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0 /
May 12, 2021
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