Tracking Under-Reported Financial Flows: China’s Development Finance and the Aid-Conflict Nexus Revisited
China’s development finance is sizable but reliable information is scarce. To address critical information gaps, we introduce a new open source methodology for collecting project-level development finance information and create a database of Chinese official finance to Africa from 2000-2011. Our initial data collection efforts found that China’s official finance commitments amount to approximately US$ 73 billion over the 2000-2011 period. We provide details on 1,511 non-investment projects to 50 African countries. We use this database to extend previous research on the aid-conflict nexus. Our results show that sudden withdrawals of “traditional” aid are only more likely to induce conflict in the absence of sufficient alternative funding from China. More broadly, these findings highlight the importance of gathering better data on the development activities of China and other non-traditional donors to better understand the link between foreign aid and conflict.
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