IV. Foreign Assistance under Regional Cooperation Mechanism
China lays great emphasis on strengthening group consultation with recipient countries through regional cooperation mechanisms and platforms, such as Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and China-ASEAN Summit, and has, on more than one occasion, announced assistance packages in response to the development needs of various regions.
1. Promoting a New China-Africa Strategic Partnership
Africa is home to the largest number of developing countries. Since the establishment of FOCAC in 2000, China has actively developed its cooperation with African countries under the framework of the Forum, gradually expanded assistance to the region, and effectively promoted the comprehensive development of its relations with Africa.
Giving priority to agricultural development. China has all along paid great attention to its agricultural cooperation with Africa. From 2010 to 2012, China established 14 agricultural technology demonstration centers, and launched the planning or construction of another eight centers. China also sent a large number of agricultural experts to Africa to carry out technical cooperation, and trained for African countries over 5,000 agricultural technicians. In July 2012, at the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the FOCAC, the Chinese government promised to provide assistance in building more agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa, strengthen technical training, demonstration and popularization, and help African countries improve their ability in food production, processing, storage and marketing.
Giving support to infrastructure construction and integrated development. Infrastructure has always been the focus of China's assistance to Africa. The Tanzania-Zambia Railway is a landmark project in China's early assistance for cross-border infrastructure construction in Africa. After its completion, China continuously carried out technical cooperation to provide help in the operation and management of the railway. From 2010 to 2012, China built in Africa 86 economic infrastructure projects. In 2012, China announced the establishment of trans-national and trans-regional infrastructure construction cooperation partnership with African countries, rendering support in project planning and feasibility study, and encouraging the participation of capable Chinese enterprises and financial institutions in project construction. China provided active support to Africa in the process to build their own strength through unity and integration, assisted the construction of the African Union Conference Center and Office Complex, and stood up for New Partnership for African Development, helping Africa enhance capacity building.
Promoting medical and health care cooperation. China has long been committed to helping African countries improve their medical and health care conditions. Currently, there are 43 China's medical teams in 42 African countries. China assisted the construction of 30 hospitals and 30 malaria prevention and control centers, provided 800 million yuan worth of medical equipment and supplies and anti-malaria drugs, and trained over 3,000 medical staff for African countries. China-assisted Tappita Hospital in Liberia, boasting complete and advanced medical equipment, is jointly operated by China, Egypt and Liberia, which is a meaningful step towards its sustainable operation.
Capacity building. During the three years, China built 150 primary and secondary schools in Africa, and trained a total of 47,000 people of various professions. In 2012, China announced its African Talents Program: to train 30,000 personnel in various sectors for Africa in three years and offer 18,000 government scholarships. In that year alone, China offered 6,717 government scholarships to African countries.
Coping with climate change. China actively helped African countries improve their ability to cope with climate change, and strengthened cooperation with them in meteorological satellite monitoring, new energy development and utilization, desertification prevention and control, and urban environmental protection. A number of the 105 clean energy and water supply projects assisted by China have been under construction or put into operation. In 2012, China started to build for African countries automatic meteorological stations and high-altitude observation radar stations, provide them with forest protection equipment and carry out personnel training and exchange, in an effort to support Africa to strengthen its capacity in ecological conservation and response to challenges imposed by climate change.
2. Promoting Practical Cooperation with ASEAN
Since China and ASEAN announced the establishment of strategic partnership in 2003, China has conducted active cooperation with ASEAN countries in all fields, focusing on providing economic and technical assistance to low-income ASEAN countries to help the ASEAN narrow internal development gaps.
Supporting multi-level regional cooperation. China has provided funding through multiple channels to support ASEAN in playing its leading role in regional cooperation. From 2010 to 2012, China successively announced assistance measures at China-ASEAN Summits, with particular emphasis on assistance in infrastructure construction. China has assisted the construction of a large number of industrial and agricultural production and infrastructure projects, which have played a boosting role in the economic development of ASEAN countries.
Promoting comprehensive development of agriculture. Since 2010, China has constantly stepped up its efforts in implementing the China-ASEAN Action Plan on Comprehensive Food Productivity Enhancement. It worked with ASEAN countries in setting up 20 experimental stations of improved crop varieties, with the demonstration areas totaling one million hectares. In addition, China built three agricultural technology demonstration centers in ASEAN countries and dispatched 300 agricultural experts and technicians to provide technical guidance. China also worked with neighboring ASEAN countries to set up cross-border monitoring stations for animal and plant disease prevention and control and established a cross-border epidemic joint-prevention and joint-control system.
Boosting capacity building. During the three years, China trained for ASEAN countries over 5,000 officials and technicians in such fields as business conferences and exhibitions, culture and arts, Chinese language, finance and taxation, traditional medicine, control and treatment of infectious diseases, new energy, as well as agriculture.
3. Supporting the Economic and Social Development of Other Regions
Targeting to common development, China made use of such platforms as Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macau), China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to carry out cooperation with developing countries in regions concerned.
Helping Asian and African Portuguese-speaking countries improve livelihood. Since the establishment of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macau) in 2003, China has conducted assistance cooperation with Portuguese-speaking developing countries, including Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and East Timor, in the fields like culture, education, health, capacity building and agriculture. From 2010 to 2012, China offered 1.6 billion yuan of concessional loans to the above five countries, and trained over 2,000 personnel for them. In 2011, a training center under the Forum was established in Macau, and it has since hosted over 10 workshops.
Enhancing practical cooperation with the Caribbean countries. China has been actively implementing the assistance measures it announced at the Third China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum held in 2011. By the end of 2012, under the framework of the Third China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, China had provided the Caribbean countries with concessional loans totaling 3 billion yuan mainly for the construction of infrastructure projects. In the meantime, China trained over 500 officials and technical staff for the Caribbean countries, and held training courses for these countries in the establishment of earthquake and tsunami early warning and monitoring system. China also built schools for Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica, dispatched to Dominica medical teams and trained local medical staff, and carried out technical cooperation in agriculture and fishery with Dominica, Grenada and Cuba.
Supporting sustainable economic development of Pacific island countries. China lays emphasis on developing friendly cooperation with Pacific island countries and supports the Pacific Plan they initiated to boost regional cooperation. Since the first ministerial meeting of China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in 2006, China has trained for these countries over 2,500 officials and technicians, and conducted technical cooperation in agriculture and fishery with Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and the Federated States of Micronesia. China helped Papua New Guinea with malaria prevention and control, dispatched medical teams to Samoa, Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga and Papua New Guinea, and held training courses for health officials, hospital administrators and pharmaceutical researchers of Pacific island countries.