This weekend the Chinese government released a new white paper on development. It comes in unassuming guise – it’s basically a MS Word Doc with the workaday title of China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era. But in its own way it’s eye-popping.
If (like me) you have an irrational fetish for long lists of country names, this document is for you. The bulk of the white paper outlines the different kinds of engagement between China and the global south. To see it all together is quite something: water treatment plant in Cameroon! Hospital in Jamaica! Broadcast centre in the Comoros! Irrigation in Kyrgyzstan! It even pointed out that, thanks to Chinese coaching, the Papua New Guinea ping pong team won two silver medals at the 2019 Pacific Games (“the team’s best ever performance.”)
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