Aid to China slashed by 95% in overseas assistance cuts

21 April 2021, 20:32 | Updated: 21 April 2021, 20:50

Aid to China will be slashed by 95%, it has been announced
Aid to China will be slashed by 95%, it has been announced. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Aid to China is set to be slashed by 95% to less than £1 million, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said.

The slash comes as part of wider foreign aid budget cuts, described as marking "a strategic shift", but comes amid diplomatic tensions between the two states.

It brings the UK's aid spending on China to just £900,000, with some additional money used to meet previous contractual agreements.

In a written statement to Parliament, Mr Raab said: "The resulting portfolio marks a strategic shift, putting our aid budget to work alongside our diplomatic network, our science and technology expertise and our economic partnerships in tackling global challenges."

Read more: David Cameron and Tony Blair warn against proposed foreign aid cuts

Keir Starmer clashes with Boris Johnson over cutting aid to Yemen

The move comes weeks after the UK and China exchanged sanctions over the abuse of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

The cuts outline how £8.11 billion of the aid budget will be spent – or 80% of the UK's total spend on aid.

Work will mostly focus on countries most affected by risk of famine, including Yemen, Syria, Somalia and South Sudan.

The Government has dropped its manifesto commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid, reducing it to 0.5%, after the economic damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Just under £10 billion is expected for aid across all departments for the next year.

Read more: Cutting aid to Yemen is 'appalling dereliction of duty', Conservative MP says

The announcement has worried charities, including Oxfam, which urged a rethink on the reduced spending during a pandemic and said it was "extremely concerned" by the announcement.

The Government was urged earlier in the week to put the aid cut to a vote in the Commons following Labour's criticism that it removes "a lifeline from hundreds of thousands of people".

But Mr Raab said poverty reduction, girls' education and urgent humanitarian response would be focused on, alongside climate change, Covid recovery and other international health priorities.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Tories raise less than £300k in second week of election campaign, as over three-quarters of all donations go to Labour

File photo of passengers boarding an Easyjet plane

Chaos as Easyjet kicks 26 men off flight headed from the UK to Portugal for 'disruptive behaviour'

Bardia Shojeifard

'Outwardly normal' teen killer with 'worrying interest in knives' posed with huge blade before murdering Alfie Lewis, 15

Police were called to a property at Shorncliffe Road shortly after 3pm on Sunday

Pictured: Baby girl mauled to death in Coventry dog attack at family home

Public schoolboy guilty of attempted murder after vicious clawhammer attack on sleeping staff and students ahead of 'zombie apocalypse'

Public schoolboy obsessed by 'zombie apocalypse' guilty of claw hammer attack on sleeping staff and students

PC Idominik Efeotor raised the issue at the annual State of London debate

'The people who investigate the officers are the problem’: Black Met officer hits out at disproportionate treatment in disciplinary process

Salisbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess

Former spy and daughter may give evidence at Salisbury poisonings inquiry

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'

'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters as Brits may not 'ever' be able to get them out of power

Exclusive
Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

The M6

Drivers face misery as major motorway closed for three days next week, sending cars on 90 minute diversion

Kings College Hospital NHS Trust is one of two London Hospitals affected by the hackers

Russian hackers publish NHS patients' details and blood test results online after London hospital cyber attack

Bardia Shojaeifard killed Alfie Lewis

'Outwardly normal' boy, 15, who murdered teenager Alfie Lewis named for first time as judge lifts anonymity

Helicopters, sniffer dogs and 4x4s have been deployed in the search for Jay Slater.

Helicopters and sniffer dogs deployed as Spanish authorities focus on new terrain in search for missing Jay Slater

Former Man United footballer Nicky Butt sentenced after breaking motorcyclist's leg in horror Range Rover crash

Former Man United footballer Nicky Butt sentenced after breaking motorcyclist's leg in horror Range Rover crash

Nick Adderley has been sacked after panel found him guilty of gross misconduct and lying

Police chief who wore fake Falklands medal found guilty of gross misconduct and sacked for lying

Anthony Hill disappeared on Monday morning

Body found by police searching for Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert colleague Anthony Hill