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China's aid spurs global growth

By Zhang Yunbi | | Updated: 2023-03-09 22:22
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Children pose for the camera at a makeshift tent camp in Matli town of Badin district in southern Pakistan's Sindh Province in September 2022. China donated the tents to help Pakistan relocate residents affected by severe floods. TANG BINHUI/XINHUA

Cooperative efforts promote common development of world, official says

From COVID-19 vaccines and railways to hybrid rice technology, China's aid to the rest of the world and its evolving approach of development cooperation to spur local growth have won more friendship and support from a vast number of developing countries.

"Presidents or prime ministers of over 30 countries have gone to local airports to welcome COVID-19 vaccines provided by China and took the lead in getting vaccinated, calling the vaccines a 'timely rain'," said Luo Zhaohui, chairman of the China International Development Cooperation Agency and a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

In an exclusive interview with China Daily, Luo elaborated on the evolving areas covered by China's international development cooperation, including COVID-19 response, humanitarian assistance and the sharing of experience in governance.

For example, following the opening of the China-Laos Railway in late 2021, an elementary school student wrote to President Xi Jinping to thank China for helping him see a train for the first time in his life.

Furthermore, as part of China's assistance, Madagascar has mastered the technology of planting hybrid rice, and rice plants are now featured on the country's bank notes.

"China's aid bears defining features, such as having no intervention in other nations' domestic affairs and attaching no political strings, which help win plenty of friendship and support from a wide spectrum of developing countries," Luo said.

A number of highways, railways, ports and telecommunication facilities that were built with China's aid have also increased those countries' trade with China as well as the global reach of Chinese enterprises, brands, products and technologies, he added.

"This is exactly mutually beneficial cooperation and common development," Luo said.

In February, Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal attended a ceremony inaugurating one of the 10 schools that China helped build in a northern mountainous region of Nepal.

He expressed his gratitude "to the Chinese government and people for their help" and commended China for its contribution in supporting his country's reconstruction following a major earthquake years ago.

In the same month, the Chinese government provided food assistance in Togo through the United Nations World Food Programme to support vulnerable populations in the West African country's northern region.

A medical worker inoculates an indigenous person with a China-made COVID-19 vaccine in Tabatinga, Brazil, in 2021. LUCIO TAVORA/XINHUA

Aboubacar Koisha, the food agency's representative in Togo, said the emergency food assistance program has helped to restore a sense of hope and stability in the region. "Our combined efforts will make a real difference in the lives of those affected by food and nutrition crises," he said.

Luo, the China International Development Cooperation Agency chairman, said, "The past 10 years have seen China's greater-than-ever participation, outcomes and contribution made in navigating and shaping international development cooperation, as well as the country's deeper engagement in global governance."

The agency was established in 2018, a key move among China's efforts in what Luo called "putting forward fresh thoughts and staying action-oriented in international development cooperation".

Over the past three years, China has provided a large quantity of COVID-19 response supplies to more than 160 countries and international organizations.

More than 2.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been provided so far to over 110 countries and international organizations.

Following earthquakes that hit Turkiye and Syria last month, China was among the first nations offering search and rescue assistance to the two countries.

In a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu Li Minggang earlier this month, Jotham Napat, Vanuatu's minister of foreign affairs, international cooperation and external trade, hailed China's selfless assistance as much needed, after his country suffered heavy losses in a recent deadly tropical cyclone.

Luo said that as the world faces rising geopolitical conflicts, challenges to globalization and a loss of focus on development, "there is a stronger desire among developing countries for refocusing on development and reinforcing collaboration, and expectations on China have been rising".

President Xi has provided China's fresh wisdom and dedication, proposing groundbreaking new visions, ideas and blueprints such as building a community with a shared future for mankind, the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative, Luo said.

As China works to fully realize the GDI and promote global prosperity, over 100 countries and international organizations have voiced their support for the initiative. To help implement the initiative, a promotion center, a network for global development and a foundation have been established, and nearly 1,000 cooperative projects and training programs have been rolled out.

"We have seen a bumper early harvest involving joint participation of a number of countries and departments in many areas," Luo said.

Chinese and Turkish rescuers transfer an injured person who was rescued from the rubble in Antakya, Turkiye, on Feb 12, six days after two powerful earthquakes rocked the country and neighboring Syria. [PHOTO/XINHUA]

The landmark report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October said the country is dedicated to narrowing gaps between developing countries and developed countries.

In January, Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Commission, stood beside visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang at the completion ceremony of a major project aided by China — the headquarters of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Faki said the headquarters is the visible face of health cooperation that has its roots in the deep Sino-African relations, and "the objective is to achieve self-sufficiency of public health systems in Africa and remedy the current global imbalances".

In addition, China set up the Institute for South-South Cooperation and Development, offered assistance in building the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Tanzania, and rolled out various human resources training programs.

"China shares its experience in governance with other countries, and the Chinese path to modernization offers a new choice for various developing countries to achieve modernization," said Luo.

China has also cooperated with over 10 international organizations, including the UN, to expand third-party collaboration in areas such as public health and climate change, benefiting over 50 countries and a total of over 20 million people.

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