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China issues white paper on foreign aid

China on Thursday issued its second white paper on foreign aid, elaborating how the nation helps other developing countries reduce poverty and improve livelihood without imposing political conditions.

The white paper, China's Foreign Aid (2014), says as the world's largest developing country, China appropriated 89.34 billion yuan (about 14 billion U.S. dollars) for foreign assistance through grant, interest-free loans and concessional loans from 2010 to 2012.

"When providing foreign assistance, China adheres to the principles of not imposing any political conditions, not interfering in the internal affairs of the recipient countries and fully respecting their right to independently choosing their own paths and models of development, " the document said.

China first began to provide foreign aid in 1950, when it provided material assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Vietnam, according to an earlier white paper on foreign aid issued in 2011.

Before the updates on foreign aid from 2010 to 2012, China had offered aid to 161 countries and more than 30 international and regional organizations, already providing 256.29 billion yuan in aid to foreign countries, data from the previous white paper showed.

From 2010 to 2012, over half of China's foreign aid went to African nations, according to the new white paper.

During the period, China provided foreign assistance in forms such as undertaking complete projects, dispatching medical teams and volunteers, offering emergency humanitarian aid, and reducing or exempting the debts of the recipient countries.

Recipient countries of China's foreign aid from 2010 to 2012 included 51 African nations, 30 Asian countries, nine in Oceania, 19 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 12 European countries.

Besides, China also provided assistance to regional organizations such as the African Union, according to the white paper.

"Developing countries, especially the least developed ones, are still confronted with the tough task of poverty reduction and development," the white paper said.

The document called for the international community to mobilize more development resources to promote economic and social development of developing countries to eliminate poverty worldwide.

In total, China undertook the construction of 580 projects in 80 countries, including 80 hospitals, 85 schools and 156 economic infrastructure facilities.

Also, China relieved nine least developed countries and heavily indebted poor countries, namely, Tanzania, Zambia, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Togo, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire and Sudan, from 16 mature interest-free loans totaling 1.42 billion yuan.

One of the important objectives of China' s foreign assistance is to support other developing countries to reduce poverty and improve the livelihood of their peoples.

China will respect and support developing countries' exploration of development paths suited to their own national conditions and make concrete efforts to help other developing countries promote social and economic development, it noted.

The white paper vowed to continue increasing the input in foreign assistance, saying China is willing to work with the international community to make greater contribution to the development of mankind.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 10Jul14]

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