Historically, China has forged its own distinctive foreign aid practices. In March 2018, Beijing established the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) to integrate and streamline its development aid programs.
President Trump’s use of tariffs has hardened Chinese views and limited Beijing’s ability to make concessions, even if they are in China’s self-interest, without appearing weak.
The CIDCA’s highly ambitious agenda is a clear sign that, after years of considerable growth in China’s development finance, the underlying bureaucratic system is now beginning to mature. Yet key questions remain unanswered.
The narrative that China is engaging in problematic debt trap diplomacy has taken off. But for Sri Lanka and most of China’s other Belt and Road Initiative partners, it is important to understand the history and politics of their relations with Beijing and project selection.
In this episode, Paul Haenle spoke with Evan Medeiros, former special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, on escalating tensions between Japan and South Korea and the implications for the United States and China.
In threatening to restrict the export of rare earth metals to the United States, China wants to demonstrate that it has leverage over the United States and an ability to respond with commensurate countermeasures if the need arises.
Beijing and New Delhi’s simultaneous rise has led both countries to take a more assertive approach to issues such as border disputes, resulting in the Doklam crisis. There are, however, opportunities for practical cooperation between China and India.
The China International Development Cooperation Agency has been tasked with lofty goals, but near-term expectations must be tempered by lingering questions about how it fits into the country’s existing foreign aid bureaucracy.
Many hailed the informal Wuhan summit between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi last April as the beginning of a new chapter in China-India ties. However, relations between the world’s two most populous countries remain tense.
As China’s presence in the region grows, it will be difficult for Beijing to maintain strong economic ties while avoiding taking sides on political issues. Whether or not it can remain a neutral party is an open question going forward.