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Britain still gives mega-rich China £51.7 million in foreign aid despite promises to end handouts

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Britain still gives mega-rich China £51.7 million in foreign aid despite promises to end handouts

  • The UK sent China £51.7m in aid last year despite promising to end ‘irdefensible’ donations
  • Cash covered climate change, reducing illegal animal trade and human rights
  • Last year, then Secretary of State Dominic Raab pledged to cut aid to China (95%)

Britain sent more than £50 million in aid to China last year, despite repeated pledges to end the ‘irdefensible’ donations.

Figures released yesterday by the Foreign Office show that the world’s second-largest economy received an astonishing £51.7 million in UK aid last year, despite cuts to the wider aid budget.

Details of how the money will be spent have yet to be released, but it covered projects in areas such as tackling climate change, reducing demand for the illegal wildlife trade and promoting human rights.

Last year, then-Secretary of State Dominic Raab vowed to cut aid to China by 95 per cent, saying only £900,000 in funding for human rights projects would continue.

But the latest figures show that aid to China fell just 19 percent last year from the previous figure of £64.1 million.

Britain sent more than £50 million in aid to China last year, despite repeated pledges to end the ‘irdefensible’ donations. Pictured: Chinese President Xi Jinping

Last year, then Secretary of State Dominic Raab pledged to cut aid to China by 95 percent.  Pictured: Then-Foreign Minister Dominic Raab calls Wang Yi, China's foreign minister from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August last year

Last year, then Secretary of State Dominic Raab pledged to cut aid to China by 95 percent. Pictured: Then-Foreign Minister Dominic Raab calls Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August last year

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘It is unbelievable and indefensible that we are still sending such large amounts of money. They don’t need it, they don’t care – it’s peanuts to them.’

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

While China is the largest producer of carbon emissions, it is not expected to contribute to a controversial UN fund to pay reparations to developing countries. According to some reports, it could even become a receiver.

Financing for China has been one of the most contentious aspects of the UK’s aid budget for years.

Former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell first announced it would end in 2010.

At the time, Mitchell, who was reinstated as International Development Secretary last month, said it was “unjustifiable” to continue sending money to an economic powerhouse.

But ironically, British aid to China now far exceeds the £27.2 million sent a decade ago.

Earlier this year, the Independent Commission on Aid Impact said Raab’s pledge to cut aid to China by 95 percent was misleading because it covered only part of the budget.

The aid watchdog found that the pledge appeared to cover only 22 per cent of Britain’s aid projects in China, saying the Foreign Office could not provide details of what would happen to the rest.

It said aid to China reached record levels in 2019, despite earlier promises to end it.

In the decade since the Department for International Development announced its intention to end development aid to China in 2011, two UK departments and funds have established new aid partnerships and others have scaled up aid spending to meet a wide range of strategic objectives. to strive. it said.

Spending in China continued despite greater aid budget cuts.

Rishi Sunak’s decision to temporarily cut aid from 0.7 percent of GDP to 0.5 percent saw the total budget fall by £3 billion to £11.4 billion last year.

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