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UK News Foreign aid: Why does the UK give aid to China?

11:30  27 april  2021
11:30  27 april  2021 Source:   express.co.uk

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Foreign aid to the People's Republic of China since 1949 has taken the form of both bilateral and multilateral official development assistance and official aid to individual recipients. In 1978, China and Japan normalized their diplomatic relations.

Why China - with its massive economy - receives £71m a year in UK foreign aid . MPs request review into why a country with its own space programme is being sent British aid . However, DfID formally closed its old Chinese aid programme in March 2011, replacing it with a development policy based on “shared global development objectives, global public goods and poverty reduction,” the department says on its website. In practice, this means that the UK now spends money in China to help develop education, support human rights, combat illegal wildlife trade and promote green energy projects.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab unveiled his departments Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) allocations for 2021/22. China will receive £900,000 from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), a cut of 95 percent. The news comes after the government announced it would break its manifesto commitment to spend 0.7 percent of its gross national income on aid, reducing it to 0.5 percent until the UK economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

The FCDO is set to spend £8.1 billion on ODA over the next year.

About half of this will support programs in Africa, with a "major shift" to East Africa as a "national strategic interest" has been identified, Mr Raab said.

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Dominic Raab said the UK 's extradition treaty with Hong Kong is being 'immediately and indefinitely' suspended after Beijing imposed a controversial national security law. The Foreign Secretary said the UK wants a 'positive relationship' with China .

British government gives China £49.3million in foreign aid despite them having a space programme and even Beijing can't understand why . Britain is handing tens of millions of pounds in foreign aid to China – as Beijing spends billions exploring space. Whitehall departments lavished £49.3million of the UK ’s foreign aid budget on China in 2017. Schemes funded included a £981,950 study into air pollution in cities and a £860,732 project to encourage the population to reduce its salt intake, while £58,555 went on developing a plan to help protect the Chinese giant salamander.

Another third of the aid budget will go to the Indo-Pacific and South Asian region, funding projects on climate change, open societies, and post-Brexit links, Mr Raab announced.

China, however, will see just £900,000, a 95 percent cut from previous ODA allocations.

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a flag flying on a cloudy day: China foreign aid © Getty China foreign aid Dominic Raab wearing a suit and tie: China foreign aid © Getty China foreign aid

So why does the UK give aid to China?

The FCDO's Development Tracker states: "As a major trade partner and source of investment for the developing world, working with China on the drivers of economic growth in developing countries has great potential."

The tracker goes on to explain how the UK and China established a new Global Development Partnership in 2011, following the closure of the UK's bilateral aid programme in China.

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How does UK foreign aid compare to other countries? Only five countries in addition to the UK met or exceeded the 0.7% of GNI target in 2015. Those countries are the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden, according to the United Nations. Germany, France, Italy, the US, Japan and Canada More than 40% of the budget went to multilateral organisations, such as the United Nations, who fund big projects like disaster relief. The remaining 60% goes directly to developing countries. The Department for International Development says the biggest regional beneficiary is Africa, which

Foreign aid is rarely just about aid . I mean, for example, in the U.S., America gives billions to foreign nations for aid purposes, but the majority of that aid comes through nonprofits. Yes, some of those nonprofits are primarily funded by U.S. government grants, but not all. There are many faith based Why is China giving billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan? What would happen if the USA suddenly cut aid to all foreign countries? Does the US need China 's help? Should the US military budget be lowered in favor of increased foreign aid spending? Does the United States of America receive

The FCDO said: "As the first international aid agency to start working with China in this way, FCDO is breaking new ground both for our own organisation and internationally.

"We believe that we can do more for the world's poor by combining our respective strengths, sharing expertise and unlocking innovative new solutions."

China foreign aid © Getty China foreign aid

The key sectors included in the development of these programs include agriculture, disaster risk reduction, global health, trade and investment.

In practice, this means that the UK spends money in China to help develop education, support human rights, combat illegal wildlife trade and promote green energy projects - not just in China, but in tandem with China in other developing nations.

So what changed?

In July 2020, British MPs requested a review into why the UK sent £71 million in aid to China in a year, despite China's economy being some five times bigger than the UK's.

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The UK ’s aid budget goes to important causes such as crisis relief, humanitarian aid , and providing money for healthcare and education services in more deprived areas. Some of the money is also given to organisations like the United Nations to carry out services of aid . The police in the UK are always facing cuts, but that’s partly due to the current governments allegiance to austerity. There is no doubt that more money is needed for the police in the UK , but foreign aid isn’t nessecarily the best place to get said money from. As a developed nation, the UK has a duty to assist those who are less fortunate

NIGEL FARAGE has hailed moves to slash foreign aid to China by 95 percent as he slammed Beijing as a 'horrible Communist regime.' Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time. Nigel Farage has welcomed news from the UK Foreign Office that taxpayer-funded aid to China will be massively reduced. The former Brexit Party leader branded China a "horrible Communist regime" as he branded the decision to slash aid to Beijing as a "step in the right direction."

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said: "China is the second-largest economy in the world, and it is winning business all over the world by undercutting firms in the West.

"This makes it all the more urgent that we have a strategic review of the entirety of our relationship with and our dependency on China, including this sort of nonsense spending on aid."

Then, with the ongoing damage to the British economy caused by the pandemic, it was only time before the "axe would fall" on China, reports claimed.

Mr Raab said the allocated ODA for the 2021/22 period will still fund initiatives to promote "open societies and human rights".

What has the reaction been?

Some have praised the FCDO's decision, while others have heavily condemned it.

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP who chairs the House of Commons international development committee, told POLITICO: "Amid sweeping aid cuts to some of the world's poorest nations, it is astounding that the UK still gives any ODA to China.

"I expect UK taxpayers would much rather see aid going to countries that are on the brink of humanitarian crises rather than to the second-largest economy in the world."

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Xi Jinping wearing a suit and tie: China foreign aid © Getty China foreign aid

Conservative MP Bob Seely, a longstanding critic of Beijing, also welcomed the cut, noting that China is richer than Britain and has a large defence budget.

However, Mr Raab has also been accused of announcing the major funding cuts at the end of the session in the House, thereby avoiding Parliamentary scrutiny.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrats' spokesperson for foreign affairs, said the government was hiding from "MPs' scrutiny because they know how damaging this is to the UK's reputation on the world stage."

There has also been a damning backlash from humanitarian sources.

More than 200 NGOs including Save the Children, Oxfam and Care International urged the government to reverse the cuts, which they described as a "tragic blow for many of the world's most marginalised people."

A joint statement said: "In a year when the UK has the chance to show leadership at G7 and COP26, withdrawing vital investment needed to keep everyone safe from health pandemics, conflicts and climate change is the wrong move."

‘Shared challenges and rising threats on agenda at G7 foreign ministers meeting’ .
Nations including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the EU will join the UK for talks throughout the day on Tuesday.The Foreign Secretary will lead discussions on relations with Russia, China and Iran on Tuesday, as well as the crisis in Myanmar, violence in Ethiopia and Syria, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

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