China’s Foreign Aid

asiainstituteAsia Institute Lunchtime Seminar, University of Melbourne

China’s Foreign Aid Caught Between Core National Interests and a Global Agenda
Ms Marina Rudyak, Institute of Chinese Studies, Heidelberg University

1.00pm-2.00pm, Wednesday 13 April 2016
Room 321, Level 3, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne

China’s engagement with developing countries is characterised by a trinity of aid, trade and investment. Chinese aid should help recipient countries to achieve self-reliance – a lesson China learned in 1960 when Soviet aid was withdrawn – and serve as a door opener for Chinese companies ‘going global’ – a product of knowledge dissemination from Japan to China. China strives for its international cooperation to be ‘win-win’, instead repeated environmental damage and labour and capital problems have become one of the major reasons for the worsening of China’s international image. Recent official and semi-official sources indicate an increased awareness among Chinese leaders about social and sustainability factors. They want the world to perceive China as a ‘responsible stakeholder’ in global governance and Chinese aid to be positively perceived by the developing and developed world. The responses, however, are ad hoc and without a clear strategy but rather, to use the words of the Deng Xiaoping, a “Crossing the river by feeling (and sometimes hitting) the stones”. But maybe, that is the best way to go?

Marina Rudyak is a pre-doc assistant professor at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Heidelberg University, since April 2014. She teaches Chinese economic policy and international relations, and is working on her PhD dissertation on Chinese foreign aid. Her research interests include the political ideology of the Communist Party and China’s relations with Central Asia. Prior to joining Heidelberg University, Marina was a program manager for the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Beijing where she was responsible for a multi-country program on regional economic cooperation between China and Central and East-Asian transition economies, and in Bishkek on regional economic cooperation in Central Asia. She studied at Heidelberg University and Shanghai International Studies University and holds an MA from Heidelberg in Modern and Classical Chinese Studies and Public Law. She is fluent in Russian, German, Chinese and English and has been a scholar of China since 2001.