Starting in the 1960s, developing countries began establishing international development aid organizations. As independent government entities, foreign aid agencies will work according to domestic diplomatic policy, national interests and the needs of aid-receiving countries, to develop agriculture, reduce poverty, improve sanitation, education, and environmental projection, prevent and reduce disasters, and other broad areas of aid. The mission of Chinese foreign aid to recipient countries has always been to strengthen the autonomy, improve livelihood, and promote economic development and social progress.
On January 30, 2018, the Institute of Science and Development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) published a new report, “Research on Institutional Reform of Chinese Foreign Aid Management.” The report put forward recommendations to improve Chinese foreign aid management mechanisms, proposing institutional reform towards the establishment of a Chinese International Development Cooperation Agency.
The report included two plans for to establish such an Agency: 1) a Chinese foreign aid policy-making government entity, established directly under the State Council, which would set China’s foreign aid strategy, choose which countries and sectors should be targeted for aid, determine aid delivery mechanisms, and manage China’s foreign aid funds and programs. Specific aid work would still continue to be carried out by existing implementing bodies under different ministries; 2) foreign aid programs, which previously were scattered across several ministries, would all be centralized under a single unified implementing international development cooperation agency, under the supervision of the State Council. This new agency would operate in parallel with existing Chinese international development agencies across different ministries.