Monday, October 19, 2009


Admirers of China often highlight how that country is helping poorer nations with low GDP and technological capabilities, through bilateral economic cooperation and assistance. It is rarely understood that cooperation is a two way street and involves giving and taking and no country can be expected to be totally charitable towards any other party. When economic aid is extended, there will invariably be strings attached to it and this applies to even Indian aids being offered to third world countries. If this is so why China is being singled out lately for criticism for being some what selfish in expecting benefits to flow back to the country from such endeavors.

According to the current views amongst the China watchers, that country is orienting its aid strategy for political and economic gains for itself, diluting the objective of helping the aid receiving countries."Some critics have suggested China's investment and trade strategy is unfair and, ultimately, disadvantageous to Africa. Business partnerships are often vague, with loose promises of compensation and profit-sharing that never materialize. Chinese loans often stipulate that ensuing contracts must be awarded to Chinese firms and employ Chinese labor. The influx of Chinese labor and cheap Chinese goods that often follows has weakened local economies and caused unemployment in parts of the continent".

The argument that aid receiving countries are weak in negotiating for most favorable terms for themselves probably will not cut much ice and well laid down international norms in the form of legal framework are available with some of the UN agencies like UNCTAD. Then there are regional associations like ASEAN, SAARC, SAARD, ECA etc which can assist its members in striking most favorable deals. Under these circumstances why China alone should be blamed for its aid program defies logic!.

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