Foreign Aid Strategies: China Taking Over?

  •  Kristian Kjøllesdal    
  •  Anne Welle-Strand    


Over the past decade China has re-emerged as an important source of foreign aid for African countries. Providing aid on terms of its own choosing, China challenges the current foreign aid paradigm in four main ways: The donor-recipient relationship is challenged by a partnership of equals; The modes of provision are challenged by China’s focus on aid that is mutually beneficial; The use of conditionalities is challenged by China’s insistence on sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs; Multilateralism is challenged by China’s preference of going the major foreign aid projects alone. This article argues that China’s aid program is not likely to undergo drastic change, and that the effects of China’s foreign aid on the traditional donors are already discernible on the African continent. The potency of these challenges might herald that the Chinese approach will provide the frame of reference for foreign aid in the future.

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