III. Promoting Economic and Social Development
China has actively helped other developing countries in infrastructure construction, and assisted their efforts in strengthening capacity building and trade development. China has also increased the amount of foreign assistance in environmental protection, helping the recipient countries realize economic and social development.
1. Improving Infrastructure
In light of the economic development of different countries, China arranges grants (aid gratis), interest-free loans and concessional loans in a well-proportioned manner to help recipient countries with the much needed infrastructure construction. From 2010 to 2012, China helped build 156 economic infrastructure projects. Exploring its advantages in technology, equipment and materials, and human resources, China effectively cut down investment costs for these projects while ensuring quality.
Supporting development of transport system. During the three-year period, China assisted the construction of over 70 transport projects, including roads, bridges, airports and ports. For example, China helped build the third section of the Sika Highway that connects Kenya's capital Nairobi to its economic hub Sika, thus making a contribution to the road network that links up Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Sri Lanka's Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, built with Chinese assistance, further improves the country's all-dimensional transport network, and plays a positive role in promoting links and communication between Sri Lanka and its neighboring areas.
Increasing energy supply capacity. China assisted the construction of more than 20 energy projects, including hydropower stations, thermal power plants, power transmission, transformation and distribution grids, and geothermal drilling projects. The Bui Hydropower Station built by China in Ghana boasts the capacity of hydroelectricity generation, farmland irrigation, fisheries development and local tourism. Its completion has not only powered economic and social development in Ghana, but also benefited other areas in Western Africa. The China-assisted power transmission, transformation and distribution grids in Dakar, Senegal now provide power to 150,000 local residents, effectively ensuring power supply to the city, which had been troubled by its ageing grid and sudden blackouts until recently.
Promoting the development of information-based societies. China assisted the building of over 60 IT-related projects, including optical cable telecommunication networks, e-government websites, and radio and television frequency modulation transmitters. The telecommunication projects assisted by China in Turkmenistan, Togo and Eritrea provide high-quality and steady telecommunication systems to these countries, and the number of users has grown exponentially. The optical cable transmission networks assisted by China in Cameroon and Tanzania have effectively promoted the application of fiber cables in African nations.
2. Strengthening Capacity Building
Believing in the ancient Chinese wisdom that "teaching one to fish rather than giving one fish," China shares its experience and technology with other developing countries through human resources and technical cooperation, as well as through volunteer service, to help other developing countries build their own professional teams and enhance their capacity for independent development.
Fast development in human resources cooperation. From 2010 to 2012, China held 1,579 seminars for foreign officials, inviting nearly 40,000 officials from the governments of other developing countries to China. The topics of the seminars covered economics and management, multilateral trade negotiation, politics and diplomacy, public administration, vocational education, and non-governmental organizations. China also held 357 training sessions for about 10,000 technical personnel from other developing countries in the areas of agriculture, health care, telecommunications, industry, environmental protection, disaster relief and prevention, and culture and sports. To help other developing countries improve the ability of their senior management personnel in the public sector, China organized, during the three years, 15 on-the-job academic education programs. Master's degrees in public administration, education, international relations and international media were granted to 359 officials from 75 developing countries.
[Figure 4: China's Human Resources Development Cooperation, 2010-2012]
the Cotton-4 countries -- on a cooperation program in which China provides cotton seeds, farm machinery and fertilizers, shares planting technologies, provides training, and supports local companies for technological upgrading and the expansion of industrial chain, so as to promote the development of the four countries' cotton industries and foreign trade.
Promoting export to China. In an effort to effectively boost export to China from other developing countries, in 2005 China decided to offer zero tariff treatment on taxable items in 190 categories to 25 least developed countries in Africa, and further expanded the scope of the treatment in the following years. In November 2011, then Chinese President Hu Jintao announced that China would offer zero tariff treatment to 97 percent of the taxable items from the least developed countries that had established diplomatic relations with China. By the end of 2012, commodities in nearly 5,000 taxable categories exported to China from the least developed countries were enjoying zero tariff treatment. Since 2008, China has been the largest export market of the least developed countries for five consecutive years, buying 23 percent of these countries' exported commodities.
Supporting the least developed countries in joining the multilateral trading system. China is an active participator of the WTO's Aid for Trade initiative. From 2008 to 2010, China made annual donation of 200,000 U.S. dollars to the program, and has increased the sum to 400,000 U.S. dollars since 2011. The donations are used to set up the China Program for Assisting the Least Developed Countries' Accession to the WTO, hold related seminars on accession to the WTO for these countries, finance their personnel to attend important WTO meetings and do internship at the organization's Secretariat. From 2010 to 2012, China held 18 seminars on promoting trade facilitation and WTO accession, sharing its experience with over 400 government officials from other developing countries.
4. Strengthening Environmental Protection
At the UN conferences on climate change held in Cancun, Durban and Doha, China shared its experience in energy conservation and emission reduction, and also pledged to increase assistance in the environment sector to the least developed countries, small island countries and African countries, in a move to help them develop clean energy and improve their capacity in addressing climate change.
Assisting construction projects. China actively cooperates with other developing countries in the areas of clean energy, environmental protection, flood control and draught relief, water resources management, sustainable development of forestry, water and soil conservation, and meteorological information service. In the three years, China undertook 64 projects in 58 developing countries on the utilization of renewable energy resources, such as solar streetlamps and solar power generators.
Providing materials. From 2010 to 2012, China provided a total of 16 batches of equipment and supplies for environmental protection to 13 developing countries, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Federated States of Micronesia, and the supplies included wind and solar power generators and lighting equipment, portable solar power supply, biogas equipment, garbage collection trucks, and draining and irrigation equipment. Meanwhile, China proactively promoted South-South cooperation on addressing climate change, and signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Complimentary Supplies for Addressing Climate Change with nine countries: Grenada, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Benin, Maldives, Cameroon, Burundi and Samoa. Under the framework, China donated more than 500,000 energy-efficient lamps and 10,000 energy-efficient air conditioners to these countries.
Providing assistance in capacity building. During the three years, China carried out technical cooperation with countries like Ethiopia, Burundi and Sudan, and helped these countries improve their utilization and management of solar power, hydro power and other clean energy. China also organized 150 training sessions on environmental protection and addressing climate change for over 120 developing countries, providing training to over 4,000 officials and technical personnel in such areas as low-carbon industry development and energy policies, ecological protection, water resources management and water and soil conservation, renewable energy exploitation and utilization, forestry management and desertification prevention and control, and early warning of meteorological disasters.