Aid and development policy: European Union vs. China
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Aid, in a practical form, is an agreement between donor and recipient countries. Any bilateral or multilateral international Aid and Development agreement is based on the current analysis of immediate global affairs. Aid policy makers evaluate and decide on a framework that can underlie the continuous cooperation required to function any aid agreements effectively. The notion of “development”, by large, is taken as a process of social and economic changes that could improve people’s living standards.1 Aid is one of the methods used to achieve development and it is a voluntary transfer of resources from one party to another. In this thesis, policies that combine with the two above concepts of “aid” and “development” are named as the Aid and Development Policy (ADP). Different actors have diverse ADP interests, motivations, objectives, approaches and fears. In Chapter One, the historical progress of the EU and China’s ADP will be introduced; it will set the background for this thesis. Moreover, the methodology that used in this thesis will also be demonstrated here. In the history of Europe, particularly in the Mediaeval period, frequent diplomatic exchanges between two Princes often involved some forms of aid being delivered at the same time. Likewise, in the ancient Chinese history, such as the Tang dynasty, aid giving and receiving was commonly used as a diplomatic tool to achieve border security and integration. From the 1600s to mid-1900s, Europe dominated the role of contributing aid to the Third World as a result of de-colonisation. From the 1940s to the end of Cold War, Europe and China were in the process of recovering from the Wars, meanwhile, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in aid giving with strong political incentives. From the 1970s and onwards, China and other emerging economies started to play a role and changing the structure of the world ADP. In the 21st century, the EU, which is currently the largest aid donor, is a prominent actor in development issues; whereas China is a new comer in the international aid community, and its influence is growing rapidly. The EU and China’s ADPs have a long history of formation and a complex progress of development. Chapter Two will demonstrate and compare the EU and China’s ADPs in terms of institutional functionalities, because this reflects the major differences and similarities between the EU and China’s ADPs in principle. The ADP is often used as an instrument to achieve different goals, in particular, that of the aid donors’. This is endowed with a strategic character in the theories of International Relations (IR). Political scientists and philosophers expressed significant interests in the topic of aid and development, and often delivered in different contexts. Popular theories are used to explain different aid and development phenomena from time to time, and most of them come to a conclusion within the spectrum of IR theories. In Chapter Three, theories of Political Science, the IR, human nature, power politics and the game theory will be discussed in relation to the ADP. Some new thoughts on the theory of Prisoner’s Dilemma will also be introduced. Most importantly, developing and demonstrating a new direction for future studies of ADP. The current ADPs of the EU and China are shaped by three major historical periods, which concerns both political and economic factors. The first phrase is the Cold War period. The second phrase is the transitional period: for the EU, it is the European Enlargement; for China, it is the Reform and Open Door. The third period is the Globalisation era, which had the most recent impacts to the EU and China’s ADPs.