China close to matching US in foreign aid flow — but often with Beijing's own interests in mind

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U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.17.

China could be poised to overtake the U.S. as the world’s primary donor of foreign aid to most of the developed world, a multinational group of researchers reported Wednesday.

“At the very top level, you could say the U.S. and China are now spending rivals when it comes to their financial transfers to other countries,” Bradley Parks, executive director at AidData, told AP on Wednesday.

As part of President Donald Trump’s so-called “America First” policy, the former New York businessman has called for significant reductions in foreign aid, prompting international concern and intense criticism from former White House officials and business executives.

However, while China could be set to usurp the U.S. as the leading donor of foreign aid throughout much of the developed world, AidData researchers stressed the country’s lack of transparency meant its aid activities remained “poorly understood.”

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