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People's Republic of China (PRC) and ADB

ADB’s sovereign and nonsovereign operations will be promoted to help develop efficient and effective solutions to the PRC’s complex development issues, and to replicate and scale up these solutions for other ADB developing member countries.

ADB's Work in the People's Republic of China

ADB Membership

Joined 1986

Shareholding and Voting Power

Number of shares held:
684,000 (6.429% of total shares)

Votes:
723,114 (5.437% of total membership, 8.349% of total regional membership)

Overall capital subscription:
$9.85 billion

Paid-in capital subscription:
$492.73 million

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been working with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1986. The PRC remains the bank’s second-largest sovereign borrower and is a major contributor to ADB development finance and knowledge-sharing initiatives.

People enjoying the view of peach blossoms in Yuyuantan Park, Beijing

The PRC is now the second-largest economy globally and the country announced eradication of extreme poverty in November 2020. Rapid growth has, however, given rise to new concerns, including social inequality, environmental degradation and pollution, a rapidly aging society, and health. ADB has been partnering with the PRC to address these emerging development challenges and will continue to support the Government of the PRC’s agenda to achieve high-quality, green development under the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan.

Since 1986, ADB has committed sovereign loans totaling $39.2 billion and nonsovereign loans of $4.1 billion (excluding B loans) for ADB’s sovereign and nonsovereign operations will be promoted to help develop efficient and effective solutions to the PRC’s complex development issues, and to replicate and scale up these solutions for other ADB developing member countries.PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINAthe PRC. Cumulative loan and grant disbursements to the PRC amount to $32.51 billion. These were financed by regular ordinary capital resources and other special funds.

Since 1986, ADB has committed sovereign loans totaling $39.2 billion and nonsovereign loans of $4.1 billion (excluding B loans) for the PRC. In 2020, ADB committed around $2 billion for 12 sovereign loans and $406 million for seven nonsovereign loans (excluding B loans) for the PRC.


ADB-Supported Projects and Programs

In 2020, ADB committed around $2 billion for 12 sovereign loans and $406 million for seven nonsovereign loans (excluding B loans) for the PRC. This was supplemented by $12.7 million (inclusive of cofinancing) for 27 technical assistance projects.

ADB worked closely with the government and the private sector when the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) first hit the country, channeling about $38.5 million through nonsovereign operations to ensure continued supply of essential medicines and natural gas in the city of Wuhan and other areas of Hubei province.

In education, ADB provided a $100 million loan to improve access to quality early childhood learning in Shangrao Municipality. The program will make education more affordable for more than 3 million disadvantaged children, establish standard competency frameworks for education professionals, and develop models to improve the quality of early childhood education. In Chongqing municipality, ADB provided a $212.35 million loan for a technical and vocational education and training project to provide industry-relevant and innovation-oriented skills and enhance employment prospects of women.

Everbright International Suzhou Municipal waste-to-energy plant

ADB is also incorporating gender perspectives into its infrastructure investments. Through a $294.56 million results-based lending program to help coal users in Henan province switch to gas, the bank is helping women breathe cleaner air and save time on domestic duties via gas stoves that will be installed through the project.

ADB committed a $206.58 million loan for green finance in Hebei province, one of the country’s most polluted industrial regions, will strengthen institutional capacity in finance policy and risk management while financing green investments. ADB is also supporting low-carbon transport and climate-resilient urban development for Yanji city in Jilin province through a bus rapid transit system estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60,000 tons each year.

Tai chi exercised for its health benefits and meditation at the People's Square, Urumqi.

Under the Yangtze River Economic Belt Framework, ADB committed $101.4 million to help revive the Xin’an River by building river embankments to mitigate flooding, upgrade sewage and stormwater management, and provide 95% of the urban population with access to wastewater treatment. Additionally, the bank committed the equivalent of $105.5 million to promote climate- and disaster-resilient smart urban water infrastructure.

ADB has also supported the government through knowledge work, including the sharing of insights on issues such as pension contributions, personal income tax, and post-2020 poverty reduction. Knowledge products have also been published to share the PRC’s experience on areas such as environmental protection, climate finance, aging, health, gender, and healthy cities.

Nonsovereign Operations

As a catalyst for private investments, ADB provides financial assistance to nonsovereign projects and financial intermediaries. Total commitments in loans and equity investments from ADB’s own funds in 2020 amounted to $1.4 billion for 38 transactions in economic and social infrastructure, finance sector, and agribusiness. ADB also actively mobilizes cofinancing from commercial and concessional sources. In 2020, ADB mobilized $1.9 billion of long-term project cofinancing and $3.3 billion of cofinancing through its Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program. Total outstanding balances and commitments of nonsovereign transactions funded by ADB’s own resources stood at $14.3 billion as of 31 December 2020.

In 2020, commitments from ADB’s own funds amounted to $405.7 million for three leasing projects, an urban water infrastructure project, a pharmaceutical distribution project, and two COVID-19 support projects in the PRC. Total outstanding balances and commitments of ADB’s nonsovereign transactions in the country as of 31 December 2020 was $1.96 billion, representing 14% of ADB’s total nonsovereign portfolio

Financing Partnerships

Financing partnerships enable ADB’s financing partners, governments or their agencies, multilateral financing institutions, and commercial organizations to participate in financing ADB projects. The additional funds are provided in the form of loans and grants, technical assistance, and other nonsovereign cofinancing such as B loans, risk transfer arrangements, parallel loans and equity, guarantee cofinancing, and cofinancing for transactions under ADB’s Trade and Supply Chain Finance Program and Microfinance Program.

ADB began cofinancing operations in the PRC in 1987. Since then, sovereign cofinancing commitments for the PRC have amounted to $2.62 billion for 36 investment projects and $66.23 million for 116 technical assistance projects. Nonsovereign cofinancing for the PRC has amounted to $3.15 billion for 33 investment projects and $4.42 million for three technical assistance projects.

In 2020, the PRC received $206.5 million loan cofinancing from the China Development Bank for the Air Quality Improvement in the Greater Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Region–Henan Cleaner Fuel Switch Investment Program, and $58.88 million loan cofinancing from Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau for the Anhui Huangshan Xin’an River Ecological Protection and Green Development Project.

A summary of cofinanced projects is available at People's Republic of China: Cofinancing.

Operational Challenges

As most ADB operations target the PRC’s less-developed regions, operational challenges persist where overall institutional capacity and policies are weaker and an increasing number of projects are implemented by the lower level of municipality and county governments that have limited institutional experience with ADB procedures.

Under the new country partnership strategy, 2021–2025, ADB is committed to fostering a more focused and multifaceted partnership with the PRC to enable the country to increasingly assume the responsibilities of a high-quality development partner. The evolution of the partnership also requires ADB operations to be more selective and catalytic, focusing on development challenges where the bank can add value through innovative and instructive projects that generate regional public goods, knowledge, and best practices for replication.

Future Directions

Aligning with the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan, the overarching goal of ADB’s new country partnership strategy is to support government efforts to achieve high-quality, green development. Consistent with the bank’s approach to upper middle-income countries, investments and knowledge solutions will focus on the strategic priorities of environmentally sustainable development, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and addressing demographic aging and health security. Specific areas of engagement will be determined by ADB’s ability to strengthen policies and institutions, support the generation of regional and global public goods, and create and disseminate knowledge. Close cooperation between ADB’s sovereign and nonsovereign operations will be promoted to help develop efficient and effective solutions to the PRC’s complex development issues, and to replicate and scale up these solutions for other ADB developing member countries.

A human-centered design approach is helping deliver an intelligent transport system in the city of Gui’an, People’s Republic of China (PRC)

This article was originally published in the ADB and the People's Republic of China: Fact Sheet. Updated yearly, this ADB Fact Sheet provides concise information on ADB's operations in the country and contact information.

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