As U.S., Europe Retreat From Foreign Aid Commitments, China Has Opportunity To Assume Leadership Role In Global Health, Development

Project Syndicate: A Chinese Model for Foreign Aid
Asit K. Biswas, distinguished visiting professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and co-founder of the Third World Center for Water Management; and Kris Hartley, doctoral candidate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore

“…The world needs a new champion for international development, and China should assume the role. With weakening [official development assistance (ODA)] commitments from traditional donors, China has a chance to lead in human development, poverty alleviation, and public health spending. … Skepticism about China’s development intentions will no doubt emerge, given China’s political and ideological differences with the West. But the skepticism could yield positive results, especially if it prompts Western powers to reevaluate their foreign aid retreat. Even if it does not, China has the tools to become a leader in international development. And, having lifted some 470 million of its own citizens out of extreme poverty between 1990 and 2005, it also has the experience. But, more than anything, China now has the political opportunity. As the U.S. and Europe turn inward, ensuring the [Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG)] success will increasingly depend on encouraging — and becoming accustomed to — Chinese leadership” (10/17).

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