Report exposes size of China's secretive aid budget

Story highlights

  • China is increasingly outspending the US on foreign aid
  • China spends more on projects that do not generate economic growth for recipient countries, says report

Hong Kong (CNN)US President Donald Trump has called for major cuts in foreign aid under his America First policy, raising alarm among philanthropists and sparking warnings it could be a "death sentence" for some countries.

As the US pulls back, a new report suggests China is poised to replace it as the primary donor for much of the developing world, but big concerns remain about the lack of transparency in how Chinese money is spent and what effect its assistance has on recipient countries.
"If the US follows through on its rhetoric and scales back its global footprint, China may be well-positioned to step into the breach and cement its role as a preferred donor and lender to the developing world," said Samantha Custer, director of policy analysis at AidData, which Wednesday published the most detailed breakdown yet of China's foreign aid programs.