Aug 31, 2021 08:01 PM

China’s International Development Cooperation Agency Takes Over Distribution of Foreign Aid

What’s new: The China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) has replaced the Ministry of Commerce to take the lead in distributing China’s foreign aid (link in Chinese), according to guidelines issued Tuesday.

The guidelines, jointly issued by the CIDCA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce, aim to clarify the CIDCA’s role (link in Chinese) in the administration of foreign aid, and specify the responsibilities of executive departments, in an effort to build a “unified, efficient and coordinated foreign aid management system,” a CIDCA statement said.

The new guidelines noted that the agency will be responsible for formulating foreign aid policies, promoting reform of the means of foreign aid, compiling finalized annual budgets for aid projects, and organizing international cooperation in foreign aid.

In 2014, the commerce ministry issued guidelines, formulated policies (link in Chinese) and carried out similar activities.

The commerce ministry will carry out specific tasks in foreign aid, such as negotiating and handling matters related to the implementation of aid projects with recipient countries, Tuesday’s guidelines said.

In addition, the foreign ministry will offer suggestions related to foreign aid according to diplomatic needs.

The guidelines will come to effect on Oct. 1, China’s National Day.

What’s more: Established in 2018, the CIDCA is China’s first independent foreign aid agency. It’s a sub-ministry-level agency under the State Council, China’s cabinet.

In the same year, the agency issued draft guidelines (link in Chinese) on the administration of foreign aid, seeking public opinion.

“Foreign aid” in the guidelines refers to Chinese government funds for economic, technical, material and other kinds of support to recipient countries, most of which are developing countries that have established diplomatic relations with China and need assistance.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Wang Xintong ( and editor Heather Mowbray (

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