The UK’s aid engagement with China

An information note providing a factual account of how UK aid has been spent by government departments supporting China’s own development, partnering with China on global development challenges, and working with third countries on their engagement with China.

  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 28 April 2021
  3. Type: Information note
  4. Subject: Transitioning development partnerships
  5. Location: China
  6. Lead commissioner: Sir Hugh Bayley

Our approach

This information note looks at the UK government’s ODA-funded development work with China and ODA spend in China since 2016, building on ICAI’s 2016 review of DFID’s approach to managing exit and transition in its developing partnerships, which included China as a case study.

The information note consists of three core components:

  1. A brief history of the UK’s strategic development relationship with China.
  2. A mapping of ODA spent in China and of ODA spent on joint programmes with China across government departments.
  3. Case studies of how the UK has engaged with China on key themes.

As an information note, it does not make evaluative judgments or make recommendations. Instead it provides insights about an area of the UK aid programme that is of considerable public interest.



Published 11 November 2020

Evidence gathering


Information note publication

Published 28 April 2021

Update to information note

Published 21 July 2021

Parliamentary scrutiny

IDC hearing 22 September 2021

Further update

Published 13 July 2023