Journal Article

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa

Date Published

Feb 1, 2018

Authors

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C Parks, Austin M Strange, Michael J Tierney

Publisher

Citation

Dreher, A., Fuchs, A., Parks, B., Strange, A. M., & Tierney, M. J. (2018). Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa. International Studies Quarterly, 62(1), 182-194. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2855935

Note: A version of this article was previously published as an AidData Working Paper.

Journal Article

Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa

Date Published

Feb 1, 2018

Authors

Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Bradley C Parks, Austin M Strange, Michael J Tierney

Citation

Dreher, A., Fuchs, A., Parks, B., Strange, A. M., & Tierney, M. J. (2018). Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa. International Studies Quarterly, 62(1), 182-194. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2855935

Chinese 'aid' is a lightning rod for criticism. Policy-makers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing uses its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms — all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese 'aid' stems from a failure to distinguish between China's Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China's official financing commitments to Africa from 2000 to 2013, we find that the allocation of Chinese ODA is driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional flows. These results highlight the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities.