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How Does China's Foreign Aid Undermine the Effectiveness of US Foreign Policy?

Harvard's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies hosts a talk on analysis of UN General Assembly voting data and how China's foreign aid undermines US foreign policy.

February 10, 2020 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Wen-Chin Wu, Assistant Research Fellow, Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica; HYI Visiting Scholar, 2019-20
Chair/discussant: Christina Davis, Professor of Government, Harvard University; Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor, Radcliffe Institute

The economic rise of China is inspiring a burgeoning literature on how China uses its economic power to influence other countries’ domestic politics and foreign policy. In this study, I analyze how China’s foreign aid discourages its recipients from complying with US foreign policy goals in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Previous studies have shown that the US can successfully lobby other states to support its position in votes on UN resolutions that it deems important to US interests, such as those on human rights issues. In this study, I use a new dataset on Chinese foreign aid and hypothesize that the emergence of China as a major donor makes developing countries less dependent on US aid. In particular, third countries would be less likely to comply with the US on important votes in the UNGA if they receive more aid from China.