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Japan sends China $1.2 billion in aid every year

It’s a not-very-well-known fact that China, the world’s second largest economy which holds $2.5 trillion in foreign reserves, still gets about $2.5 billion in foreign government aid every year. (Jack Chow recently explored how this plays out that the Global Fund for AIDS in an FP piece.) What’s even more surprising, given this month’s events, ...

It's a not-very-well-known fact that China, the world's second largest economy which holds $2.5 trillion in foreign reserves, still gets about $2.5 billion in foreign government aid every year. (Jack Chow recently explored how this plays out that the Global Fund for AIDS in an FP piece.)

What's even more surprising, given this month's events, is who the biggest source of that aid -- accounting for nearly half -- is: 

Today's aid adds up to $1.2 billion a year from Japan, followed by Germany at about half that amount, then France and Britain. ...

It’s a not-very-well-known fact that China, the world’s second largest economy which holds $2.5 trillion in foreign reserves, still gets about $2.5 billion in foreign government aid every year. (Jack Chow recently explored how this plays out that the Global Fund for AIDS in an FP piece.)

What’s even more surprising, given this month’s events, is who the biggest source of that aid — accounting for nearly half — is: 

Today’s aid adds up to $1.2 billion a year from Japan, followed by Germany at about half that amount, then France and Britain. …

Japan’s generosity has historically been driven at least in part by a desire to make amends for its invasion of China in the 1930s. But in recent years Japanese lawmakers and officials have repeatedly questioned whether the money flow should continue, pointing to China’s emergence as a donor to African countries.

It’s pretty hard to see how this will continue to be tenable in the current Japanese political climate, particularly with China arresting Japanese workers sent to clean up World War II sites. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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