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Q&A: China Likely to See the Cut in UK Aid Spending as Both an Opportunity and a Loss

Photo: DFID / Sgt Neil Bryden RAF

The British government’s decision to slash its overseas aid budget from $21.3 billion in 2020 to $13.8 billion this year is prompting heightened anxiety within the U.S. and European development communities that the move will provide a new opening for China to expand its influence in Africa and other developing regions. “I think from [China’s] perspective, this is going to be a real kind of a gift to them in terms of the relationships that they are building in African countries,” Romilly Greenhill, U.K. director of development charity ONE, told Politico.

For years, Britain had been among the world’s largest aid donors, behind the United States and Germany, but now appears to be retrenching just as China is expanding its presence in the global development assistance sector, especially in Africa.

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