(Excerpt from China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era)
As an active contributor to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, China has been assisting other developing countries to reduce poverty, boost agricultural progress, support equal access to education, improve infrastructure, and speed up industrialization.
1. Poverty Reduction
Eliminating poverty is the common aspiration of all peoples and a shared mission of the international community. The primary goal of the 2030 Agenda is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere”. China has been helping other developing countries to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives, by providing assistance in the construction of rural public facilities, sharing experience in agricultural governance, and offering technology transfer.
- – Implementing poverty reduction pilot projects. China has been assisting other developing countries in alleviating poverty. In Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, China has launched pilot projects to promote its experience in village-by-village poverty reduction, improving local villages’ organizational ability, encouraging farmers to combine their efforts in agricultural activities, and cultivating a new vision for development to shake off poverty.
China has organized training programs and co-hosted seminars with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, to share ideas and actions in targeted poverty alleviation with other developing countries.
– Raising rural incomes. China has been assisting some countries in improving their rural living environment and meeting local needs in transport, work and life. For example, it helped Mauritania to build a highway in its Hope Delta to support local agriculture and animal husbandry.
China has also provided training in handicrafts based on local conditions. In Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Lesotho, Rwanda and the Central African Republic, China launched pilot projects on Juncao planting techniques, to help rural households to increase their incomes. In Liberia and Ethiopia, China impartd bamboo weaving techniques, encouraging farmers to tap local bamboo resources and start furniture businesses as a new source of income.
– Protecting special groups. Special groups are the most deserving recipients of poverty alleviation. China has been supporting other developing countries in formulating policies concerning people with disabilities, improving rehabilitation services for them, and enabling them to share the fruits of social development.
In Mongolia, Ecuador and Libya, China organized training programs on health care policies and rehabilitation services for special groups, which improved these countries’ capacity to alleviate poverty and provide better health care services for such groups. In Samoa, China helped set up a training centre for people with disabilities, with the number of trainees rising from 150 to over 400, providing them with opportunities for basic education and skills training.
2. Food Security
Agriculture is the foundation of economic growth and social stability. China assists other developing countries to leverage their own strengths to accelerate agricultural progress and ensure food self-sufficiency and food security.
- – Improving agri-productivity. By the end of 2019, China had dispatched 81 agri-technology teams composed of 808 experts to 37 Asian and African countries; China had assisted African countries in setting up 22 agri-technology pilot centres to promote high-yield crop varieties, helping farmers increase productivity and boost their confidence in development.
In Georgia, Chinese experts on plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation rolled out solar greenhouse planting techniques among farmers, which increased vegetable yields and ensured self-sufficiency. In Kyrgyzstan and Chad, China launched assistance projects to upgrade their irrigation systems and offered agricultural machinery and supplies to ease local shortages.
In Laos, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, China provided timely aid during locust plagues to help restore agricultural production. In Cambodia, China offered assistance in modern agricultural planning, and supported the Stung Chikreng water resources development project, ensuring an 80 per cent water supply rate for irrigation and replacing single cropping with double cropping in rice production.
– Cultivating agricultural research and technical personnel. Agricultural upgrading requires a talent pool. China has helped to build platforms to train rural technical personnel, including an agricultural school in Kratie, Cambodia, a Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre for scientific cooperation in agriculture with African countries, and a number of agri-technical cooperation programmes in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Grenada.
China has sent agricultural specialists overseas to offer technical training programmes on raising rice yields in Côte d’Ivoire, upgrading aquaculture in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and improving coffee varieties and processing methods in East Timor. To provide technological support and services for agricultural development in Africa, China initiated a “10+10” cooperation mechanism between Chinese and African agricultural research institutes for the joint development of new crop varieties, technologies, and equipment suited to the African continent.
– Developing agro-industrial chains. China attaches great importance to offering assistance in post-agricultural production. It helped build a pig and cattle slaughterhouse in Cuba, an agri-product preliminary processing centre in Cape Verde, a corn flour production plant in Zambia, and grain processing and storage facilities in East Timor, to improve their capacity to process and store agri-products, reduce post-production waste, and increase the added value of agri-products and farmers’ income.
In Tonga and Samoa, China promoted biogas technology and pig-biogas-vegetable circular agri-technology and used agri-technology pilot centres to demonstrate how to develop a full industrial chain from production, storage, processing to marketing, share comprehensive agri-management experience, and support circular agriculture and sustainable production. In response to initiatives and campaigns by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), China has helped some countries to improve their food security.
3. Health Care
China always puts the people first and prioritizes the protection of lives. It has been supporting other developing countries in building their public health systems, improving their medical and healthcare services, and protecting people’s lives and health.
- – Building public health systems. To help Africa improve its public health system and build the headquarters of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), China dispatched health experts to support its emergency command, epidemiological analysis, and disease control during a number of epidemics.
In tackling infectious diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis, China assisted Africa in carrying out a raft of disease control and health improvement programmes. In Zanzibar, Tanzania, China provided technical assistance in schistosomiasis control and helped design prevention and treatment protocols, which lowered the local infection rate. In Comoros, China assisted its malaria elimination program with an Artemisinin-based combination therapy, which ensured zero deaths and reduced the morbidity rate by 98 per cent.
– Improving basic medical service capacity. In the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan, China provided aid to more than 50 medical infrastructure projects, playing an important role in protecting public health and training medical professionals. China offered medicines, equipment and consumables to other countries to ease their shortages of medical supplies.
China launched paired cooperation with medical institutions in over 20 countries, helping them to set up specialized hospital departments or improve the performance of existing departments. China assisted Trinidad and Tobago in establishing its own micro neurosurgery and endoscopic neurosurgery departments. The Chinese medical team in Dominica introduced minimally invasive surgery to the country. Through such efforts, China has brought advanced treatment concepts and filled many medical technology gaps in the Caribbean region.
– Strengthening human resources for medical services. From 2015 to 2019, China dispatched 3,588 medical workers overseas in 202 groups, who provided treatment to 11 million patients, organized professional training for local medical staff, offered free mobile clinic services, and donated medicines and equipment; more than 1,500 of these Chinese medical workers were awarded presidential medals or other honours by the recipient countries, while one of them died on duty.
China has also sent short-term medical specialist teams overseas for particular diseases. In 25 countries, including Botswana, Eritrea, Morocco, Ghana, the Bahamas, Maldives, and Antigua and Barbuda, China launched 42 sight recovery activities under the Brightness Action programme, providing 9,752 cataract surgeries. In Ghana and Tanzania, China carried out 170 heart surgeries under the Heart-to-Heart programme.
4. Quality Education
Education is the foundation of development. China has been assisting other developing countries in providing fairer access to better education, by opening schools, training teachers, and increasing scholarships.
- – Supporting basic education. Access to good education is the common aspiration of all children and teens in developing countries. It is also an important means to improve population quality and advance national development. In Nepal, Armenia, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru and Uruguay, China assisted in the construction of a number of primary and secondary schools and offered computers, lab equipment, stationery and sporting goods to improve their basic education conditions.
In South Sudan, China provided technical assistance in education, including compiling customized primary school textbooks on mathematics, English and science, and printing 1.3 million copies of them for 150,000 teachers and students. In North Macedonia, China provided distance education equipment to 27 schools, helping improve local education, particularly in mountainous and rural areas, and promoting the balanced distribution of education resources.
– Developing higher education. China has been assisting other countries in improving higher education facilities and training high-calibre talent. China assisted in construction projects such as the Emalus Campus of the University of the South Pacific in Vanuatu, the Malawi University of Science and Technology, the teaching building of the Chinese Department at Kabul University in Afghanistan, the library at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the Kabala Campus of the University of Bamako in Mali. At Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya, China helped establish the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre, offering courses on the protection and utilization of biodiversity and remote sensing of natural resources to improve local technology levels.
China has provided part-time degree and non-degree programmes for foreign trainees. Since 2013, the Chinese government has sponsored more than 4,300 people from other developing countries to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees in China. To strengthen research cooperation and academic exchanges with partner countries to jointly train high-calibre personnel, China has launched the “20+20” Plan for higher education cooperation with Africa and established the Atomic Energy Scholarship of China.
– Promoting vocational education. Vocational education is an important means for developing countries to generate demographic dividends and increase employment. In Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Egypt, Sudan, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea and Vanuatu, China helped set up technical schools and vocational training centres. In Azerbaijan, Ethiopia and Madagascar, China provided material support for improving their vocational and technical education.
The Omdurman Friendship Centre for Vocational Training, supported by China, has become Sudan’s national vocational training base for teachers. In Djibouti and Egypt, China has established Lu Ban workshops to provide practical technical training to local youth through paired cooperation with Chinese vocational schools. China’s technical assistance to the vocational training centre in Burkina Faso has helped boost the local vocational education market.
5. Gender Equality
Women are an important driving force for social progress. China has assisted other developing countries in promoting women’s development, creating more opportunities for women to succeed in life.
- – Safeguarding women’s rights and interests. China has begun to implement the 100 maternal and child health care projects in developing countries, initiated by President Xi Jinping at the summits celebrating the UN’s 70th anniversary in 2015. Some of these projects are already in place in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Cape Verde, effectively ensuring basic healthcare services for local women.
In Zimbabwe, China launched a programme for the prevention and treatment of cervical diseases, donated medicines and equipment for early diagnosis and treatment, and dispatched specialists to improve the expertise of the local medical staff. China provided training programmes to some countries on maternal and child health care, to help improve their clinical services in obstetrics and neonatology.
– Empowering women. China has reinforced its efforts to assist in training women in other developing countries, promoting vocational and technical training to increase women’s employment and their participation in political and economic activities.
Since 2013, China has offered over 60 capacity development and technical training programmes for women in developing countries, and provided part-time degree and non-degree programmes on women’s leadership and social development, aiming to expand female officials’ capacity to participate in political and economic activities.
China has assisted other developing countries in building public facilities and energy infrastructure, enabling their people to enjoy a better life.
- – Supporting the construction of public facilities. China aided the maintenance and renovation of public facilities such as the Algiers Opera House in Algeria, the National Wrestling Arena and the Museum of Black Civilizations in Senegal, the Culture Palace of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, and the Cotonou Convention Centre in Benin. It provided assistance to some countries and the African Union in building conference centres and support facilities. It assisted Grenada, Guinea-Bissau and Tunisia in building, repairing and upgrading sports venues. All these projects aim to increase cultural and sporting activities in these countries and regions and enrich local cultural life.
The Development Centre for Children with Disabilities in Mongolia, constructed with China’s assistance, is the largest multi-functional rehabilitation centre of its kind in the country, and is renowned as “a happiness project”.
– Improving the urban living environment. In Sierra Leone, Burundi, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, the Philippines, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Serbia, China helped build urban arterial roads and upgrade congested sections to ease traffic flow. The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, built with China’s assistance to connect three adjacent islands, has become an artery of traffic in the Male Atoll, providing an alternative to the ferry as the only means of local transport.
In Syria, China provided 100 buses to expand urban transport capacity, which has facilitated travel and reconstruction in the recipient cities. China-aided projects on road repair and residential drainage in Sao Tome and Principe and those on water supply and sewage treatment in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, have addressed urban waterlogging and separated sewage from rainwater, thereby reducing pollution and improving local life quality.
– Expanding energy access. Depending on resource availability, China has assisted other countries in developing hydro, solar, wind, nuclear and geothermal power, and helped them to build power transmission, transformation and distribution networks.
In Cuba, China assisted the construction of a solar power station with an installed capacity of 9 MW and an annual power output of 12.85 million kWh, which filled a sizable gap in the local power supply. China aided Kyrgyzstan in rebuilding its power grid in the south, aided Tajikistan in a 500 kV power transmission and transformation project in the Districts of Republican Subordination, aided Laos in building a 230 kV power transmission line between Thavieng and Laksao, and aided Zambia in building a power transmission line between Kariba North and Kafue West. These projects have improved power grid connectivity in these countries and played an important role in boosting their energy independence and industrialization.
7. Sustainable and Innovation-Driven Economic Growth
China has supported other developing countries in advancing industrialization, increasing the added value of their resources, boosting industrial employment, releasing the potential of the digital economy, and improving economic creativity and inclusiveness.
- – Advancing Industrialization. Industrialization is a prerequisite for economic independence and an important means of creating employment and ending poverty. China has been supporting other developing countries in tapping their potential for competitive industrial capacity, modernizing their industrial systems, and increasing the added value of their resources, to accelerate the process of industrialization.
In Bangladesh, China assisted the construction of the Shahjalal Fertilizer Factory. Since it was put into operation in 2015, the factory has achieved a total output of 1.1 million tonnes and saved over US$400 million in foreign exchange. The China-aided fruit and vegetable processing plant in Cuba and the sulfuric acid plant in Tajikistan have raised local production efficiency and boosted local income and tax revenues. Prioritizing localization, these programs have increased employment and improved labour skills for local people.
– Promoting the digital economy. China has assisted other countries in implementing 37 telecommunications infrastructure projects covering telecommunications networks and government information networks, to help them develop information and communications industries and narrow digital gaps.
Kenya’s national fibre optic cable network, built with China’s assistance, has greatly increased transmission speed, reduced communication costs, and boosted e-commerce, marking a great leap in the development of Kenya’s information and communications industries. China assisted in the construction of the police command centre and government hotline in Laos, and the integrated government information system in Papua New Guinea, helping the two countries to raise their administrative efficiency and increase the application of IT in governance. China assisted the third-phase project of Bangladesh’s e-government network, extending high-speed information and communications connectivity to 64 districts, 488 sub-districts, and 2,600 unions to cover 62 per cent of its territory and population.
8. Eco-environmental Protection
Upholding the vision of harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature, China has proactively assisted other developing countries in promoting new energy, protecting the environment, and addressing climate change. China has shared its experience in green development, fulfilled its commitments under international conventions, and expanded international cooperation on wildlife protection and desertification control, to join other countries in preserving our beautiful planet.
- – Developing clean energy. China has increased its support for renewable energy projects and assisted other developing countries in implementing clean energy programmes.
In Gabon, China launched a clean energy pilot project to increase power supply while minimizing environmental impacts. In Kenya, China assisted the construction of the Garissa solar photovoltaic power plant, providing an average annual generation capacity of 76 GWh and an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 64,000 tonnes. In Fiji, China supported the construction of a number of small hydropower plants, to provide clean, stable and low-cost energy and replace annual diesel imports worth RMB6 million, helping the country to work towards the goal of making renewable energy 90 per cent of its total energy consumption by 2025.
– Protecting biodiversity. Biodiversity is the foundation of human survival and development. China attaches great importance to biodiversity conservation, fulfilling its international obligations, and promoting international cooperation on wildlife protection.
China provided Zimbabwe, Kenya and Zambia with wildlife protection supplies, upgrading their equipment for combatting poaching and illegal wildlife trade and improving their wildlife protection capacity. China provided Mongolia with technical assistance for the management of Gobi bear habitats, by helping improve environmental quality and offering specialist equipment, to protect its “national treasure” from imminent extinction.
– Addressing climate change. China has promoted South-South cooperation in the response to climate change, helping other developing countries – particularly small island countries, African countries and least developed countries – to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
In 2015, China announced the establishment of a South-South Climate Cooperation Fund, and the plan to set up 10 pilot low-carbon industrial parks, start 100 climate mitigation and adaptation programmes and provide climate change response training programmes for 1,000 people in other developing countries, which have to date involved cooperation with 34 countries.
China assisted Laos and Ethiopia in formulating plans for environmental protection and clean energy development to accelerate their green and low-carbon transformation. China provided Myanmar with home solar power systems and clean cooking stoves, which reduced carbon emissions and protected forest resources. Ethiopia’s microsatellite, donated by China, was launched into space, helping the country improve its capacity for disaster monitoring and alerting, and for climate change response.
From 2013 to 2018, China organized over 200 training programmes on climate change response and environmental protection, set up targeted degree and non-degree programs on environmental management and sustainable development, and trained some 5,000 people from other countries.
– Curbing desertification. China is happy to share with other countries its desertification control technology and experience and has organized a number of training programmes on curbing desertification and soil erosion.
China launched an international platform for technical assistance and exchange on desertification control in its Gansu Province, organizing 36 international training sessions on this topic. In 2006, China held the first training session on desertification control technology for Arab states, and up to now has organized 12 such sessions. China has also imparted bamboo and Juncao planting and processing techniques in other countries, which have effectively contained soil erosion and land degradation and protected the eco-environment.
– Conserving marine and forest resources. Oceans and forests are valuable natural resources. China helped countries like Jamaica with programmes for hydrological and meteorological observation, assisted Uzbekistan in establishing pilot automatic weather stations, and supported research on marine disaster preparedness and mitigation.
China assisted Cape Verde in developing its plan for a maritime special economic zone and designing a blueprint for the exploitation and conservation of marine resources on Sao Vicente Island. China has launched cooperation with African countries on afforestation and forestry research and provided Tanzania and Comoros with fire engines and patrol vehicles to improve their forest resource management capacity.