La coopération internationale au développement de la Chine dans la nouvelle ère
Chine - Conseil des affaires de l'État, 10 janvier 2021
Version originale : 《新时代的中国国际发展合作》
Traduction en anglais : China's International Development Cooperation in the New Era
Voici le compte rendu qu'en donne Stella Hong Zhang sur Twitter @StellaHongZhang :
A landmark document. It replaces the two White Papers on China's Foreign Aid, and adopts the new term of "International Development Cooperation." Not just a semantic change reflecting the name of the new agency, but also based on a whole set of theorizing China developed in recent years. Most interestingly the idea of “正确的义利观” (roughly translated as "the correct philosophy on 'yi'--public good, and 'li'--interest), which is lost in the English version. The Chinese version says "重视和照顾其他国家的利益需求，重义轻利、舍利取义," explicitly admitting that there's tension between China's self-interest in providing assistance and the public good such assistance is supposed to serve--and vowing to take "public good" over "interest". (This sentence is not reflected in the English version.) This 义利观 discourse is a new development in the Xi era. It's supposedly an adjustment to the pragmatism in China's foreign aid practices, in which aid is considered part of the broader international commercial activities (result of the 大经贸 idea put forward in the mid 1990s). By propagating this new discourse, Xi seems to want to restore some level of internationalism in China's foreign aid that was in the Mao era. But he needs to be careful finding a balance between the purported altruistic internationalism and the concrete benefit for Chinese actors involved, as it can easily seen as politically-motivated largess and cause backlash at home. Other noticeable (but not surprising) points include the goal of development cooperation to serve the BRI, which suggests that foreign aid and other development cooperation will be coordinated with the overall BRI agenda, and there will be more top-down control rather than allowing companies to drive the aid and loan allocation based on their commercial interests (for those interested, my recent publication explains the link between China's aid practices and the rise of its international construction industry: https://search.proquest.com/docview/2471844526/9CA3972C6DA44B03PQ/1…). Also, we need to take it seriously when China talks about "diverse forms" of development cooperation. It's gone far beyond what we knew about Chinese foreign aid (grants, loans, turnkey projects, medical teams, foreign official trainings, scholarships...) Pay attention to Part VI "Supporting the Endogenous Growth of Developing Countries" in which it talks about improving governance of developing countries. This includes, among others, assisting countries in their development planning规划, which is the central element in China's governance model. So this "International Development Cooperation in the New Era" is indeed much more ambitious than the previous "foreign aid".