China’s Proposed Government Restructuring Creates New Foreign Aid Agency, Streamlines Health, Environment Authority
Quartz: China just got one step closer to ending its family planning policies
“Over the years few things have symbolized China’s heavy-handedness quite like the one-child policy it implemented in 1979. But in a sign of change, this week Beijing announced the end of the commission charged with implementing such policies. The move comes amid a broad reshuffling of ministries and agencies taking place during this year’s Two Sessions meeting of the National People’s Congress, a two-week event ending March 20. A newly formed National Health Commission will oversee the family planning policy, which as of 2016 allows for two kids…” (Huang, 3/14).
Reuters: China says new agency will improve foreign aid coordination
“China plans to set up an international development cooperation agency to better coordinate foreign aid and promote its ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, State Councillor Wang Yong said on Tuesday. The new agency will be responsible for forming policies on foreign aid, as well as granting aid and overseeing its implementation, according to a parliamentary document released earlier in the day…” (Blanchard/Shepherd, 3/12).
Science: China’s government shake-up could have big payoffs for public health, environment
“China today unveiled a sweeping revamp of its bureaucracy that is expected to reap benefits for public health, the environment, and combatting climate change — while raising questions about the management of basic research. … Tobacco control has long been under the purview of the industry ministry, which also manages China’s hugely profitable tobacco monopoly. As part of the overhaul, the health ministry would assume responsibility for cutting smoking…” (Normile, 3/13).
The Times: China seeks to extend its reach with new office for foreign aid
“China is to set up a foreign aid and overseas infrastructure development department in an effort to extend its global influence. In what will be seen as an attempt to compete with the United States, China said that the office was designed to make its aid and overseas spending more efficient and was part of reforms designed to strengthen the Communist Party’s rule and reflect President Xi’s policy priorities…” (Tang, 3/13).
Washington Post: China sets up new foreign aid agency to better project influence abroad
“…The establishment of a new international development cooperation agency came as part of the biggest shake-up of the government’s structure in two decades. … The new agency will draft foreign aid policies, grant aid, and supervise projects. … China provides few details of its aid program, but said it sent more than half of its foreign aid of more than $14 billion between 2010 and 2012 to Africa. … China likes to boast that its finance in Africa does not come with political strings attached…” (Denyer et al., 3/13).