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China’s Aid Exports Climb to $1.3 Billion on Vaccines

  • Donated goods account for a quarter of Chinese overseas aid
  • Researchers find rapid increase in donations during pandemic
A man holds a Chinese flag in front of the shipment of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe, in 2021. 

A man holds a Chinese flag in front of the shipment of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines at Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe, in 2021. 

Photographer: Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Getty Images Europe
Corrected

Chinese donations of physical aid jumped to almost $1.3 billion last year as the government, companies and individuals gave vaccines, food and other goods to foreign nations. 

The value of donated goods was almost 40% higher than in 2020, according to a new database created by academics at the University of Göttingen and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in Germany, and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Pharmaceutical and medical exports were the top donation categories, reflecting the impact of the pandemic.