Western Donors Embrace China for African Development

Liberian boys hold up a poster of Hu Jintao, China's president. Photo by: Christopher Herwig / / CC-BY-NC-SA

For many years, China has caused unease in the international community for its investment-driven aid to Africa without strings attached. Though such an apprehension largely remains today, some major development players are showing a more embracing attitude toward the emerging Asian donor.

One of the most vocal is the United Kingdom. In October, Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell indicated that the U.K. wants to partner with China to help end poverty in Africa.

“We are looking to work very closely with China,” Mitchell told BBC News. “And those discussions have already started. That is a high priority for the coalition government. In partnership with China, we will be able to do much more to speed up development in Africa.”

Two years earlier, in November 2008, the European Commission had adopted a communication endorsing the establishment of the EU-China-Africa trilateral dialogue to promote peace and security as well as support efforts in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

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About the author

  • Io

    Elena L. Pasquini

    Elena Pasquini covers the development work of the European Union as well as various U.N. food and agricultural agencies for Devex News. Based in Rome, she also reports on Italy's aid reforms and attends the European Development Days and other events across Europe. She has interviewed top international development officials, including European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. Elena has contributed to Italian and international magazines, newspapers and news portals since 1995.