April 14, 2015
The JICA-RI working paper "Estimating China's Foreign Aid 2001-2013" has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Journal of International Development.
The paper by researchers Naohiro Kitano and Yukinori Harada has been available on the website of the peer-reviewed journal since March 19. It will be included in a future printed edition.
The paper found that China's net foreign aid (as a proxy for official development assistance) has not reached the level of the top five members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), contrary to some media reports. China actually ranked sixth in foreign aid as a proxy for official development assistance (ODA) as of 2013, behind the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and France, according to the paper. However, China's foreign aid is growing rapidly.
China releases no official ODA figures. It has not joined the DAC of the OECD, and so it does not follow the organization's definition of ODA or its rules.
However, China's foreign aid as a proxy for ODA, as defined by OECD's DAC, can be estimated by carefully checking statistics and figures on Chinese language websites. That's what JICA-RI Deputy Director Kitano and Harada did, in the first-of-its-kind study.
The pair's paper is already making an impact in the field. It has been cited in two other recent academic papers: "Rising Powers in International Development China's Engagement in International Development Cooperation: The State of the Debates" by Yanbing Zhang, Jing Gu and Yunnan Chen (2015), and "China's Contribution to Development Cooperation: Ideas, Opportunities and Finances" by Justin Yifu Lin and Yan Wang (2015).
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