This paper analyzes China’s growing foreign aid andexport credit program as an element of the changing international aid architecture. The paper finds that practices governing Chinese aid and development finance diverge from clear OECD standards and norms on transparency and definitions, the management of concessional export credits, and the management of sovereign debt. In the area of environmental and social protections, corruption and governance, the paper f
inds mixed results. Chinese norms on environmental and social safeguards are evolving
rapidly and there is some evidence that the framework for development loans has begun
to take these higher standards into account. Regarding governance, both China and the t
raditional sources of development finance have rules that discourage corruption in th
e procurement of aid, but export credits are less well policed. Neither seem to have
rules for when or how aid should be restricted when a pattern of corruption characteriz
es an entire recipient government. The global aid regime is not well-institutionalized
regarding democracy and human rights. Neither the IMF, nor the World Bank, nor th
e Chinese apply conditionality in this area. Many bilateral donors do apply such condition
s, but relatively inconsistently, and many still lack clear firm standards. In sum, Chine
se practice is not as different in this arena as is often believed … (to read more)