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China in the multilateral development banks: evolving strategies of a new power

Research reports

Written by Chris Humphrey, Yunnan Chen

In recent years, China has become one of the largest providers of development finance in the world. While much has been written on its bilateral activities via state-directed official lending, less attention has been paid to the multilateral dimension of China’s outward development finance, as the country gradually shifts from being a borrower member of the MDBs to a non-borrower. This paper is the first comprehensive survey to focus on this emerging role.

The aims of this paper are threefold:

  • Outline how China is working with MDBs via shareholding and non-core financial contributions.
  • Explore the interests and drivers behind this engagement.
  • Consider the implications of China’s activities for the governance and operations of different MDBs.

This is part of the Reforming multilateral development banks research and event series. The online seminar, China's role in the multilateral development banks, will take place on 30 November at 14:00 GMT.