A New Era in China’s International Development Cooperation: A Conversation with Stella Hong Zhang
By: Bonnie S. Glaser
In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Stella Hong Zhang joins us to discuss China’s new model of international development cooperation. Ms. Zhang analyzes China’s January 2021 white paper titled “China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era”, the shift in China’s international development policy, and the implications that this shift has for both China and other nations around the world. She argues that the policy changes reflect China’s goal to be seen as a leader in global governance and its aim to shape discourse on China's domestic governance model and development achievements. Similarly, Ms. Zhang contends that this shift in China’s international development policy must be understood as part of Xi Jinping’s more assertive foreign policy and emphasis on expanding China’s relationships with other developing nations. Lastly, Ms. Zhang explains that China’s decision to frame its international development cooperation policy in moral language plays strongly to a domestic audience that is skeptical of providing resources to other countries while China itself is still developing.
Stella Hong Zhang is a PhD candidate at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. She previously served as an international journalist for China’s Caixin media. Her research interests include China’s role in international development, the internationalization of China’s development state, and the overseas expansion of China’s state-owned enterprises.