China began its partnership with the Bank in 1980, just as it embarked on its reforms. Starting as a recipient of support from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the poorest, China graduated from IDA in 1999 and became a donor in 2007. It became the World Bank’s third largest shareholder upon completion of the capital increase approved in 2010, the 30th anniversary of its partnership.
Throughout this time, the nature of the Bank’s activities in China has changed to meet the country’s rapidly evolving needs. Initially, the Bank provided technical assistance to introduce basic economic reforms, modern project management methodologies, and new technologies. Later, the focus shifted to institutional strengthening and knowledge transfer. The Bank now encourages knowledge sharing to enable the rest of the world to learn from China’s experience.
Here are some recent results of World Bank-supported projects in China:
Two Fiscal Sustainability Development Policy Financing operations, approved in FY18, supported Hunan Province and Dadukou District of Chongqing Municipality in China in implementing reforms that have placed their public finances on a sound and sustainable path. This included the development of tools for debt/fiscal sustainability analysis, a new integrated approach to medium-term capital budgeting, enhanced budget transparency, improvements in the provincial-level monitoring and regulation of the financial health of local governments in Hunan, and greater clarity in the division of government budgets and public sector corporate entities in Dadukou. The reforms piloted in Hunan and Dadukou informed the on-going budget reform agenda in China.
The Innovative Financing for Air Pollution Control in Jing-Jin-Ji Program, approved in FY17, supports the Hua Xia Bank to provide enterprises with financing to reduce air pollutants and carbon emissions by increasing energy efficiency, investing in clean energy, and tightening air pollution control, with a focus on Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) region and the surrounding provinces of Shandong, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and Henan. The program is contributing to the blue skies in Jing-Jin-Ji and helping combat climate change by reducing CO2 emissions by 1.54 million tons per year, equivalent to avoiding nearly 10 GW of new coal power plants over lifetime of the investments.
The Hebei Air Pollution Prevention and Control Program, approved in 2016, has supported the province’s efforts to reduce air pollution and win the battle for blue skies, by implementing a combination of targeted measures including a continuous emission monitoring system, replacement of heavily-polluting diesel buses with electric vehicles, and a switch from coal-fueled cookstoves to clean gas stoves.
The Ningxia Desertification Control and Ecological Protection Project, approved in 2012, helped improve living conditions and increase incomes while curbing desertification, land degradation and restoring vegetation. The experience was also shared with other countries facing similar challenges.
The Sustainable Development in Poor Rural Areas Project (2010-2015) improved village roads, drinking water and other basic infrastructure, and increased incomes for 951,100 rural poor in China’s Henan and Shaanxi provinces and Chongqing Municipality through community-driven development and community development financing. The project also helped build resilience to climate change through sustainable land and water management measures.
The Jilin Agricultural Product Safety and Quality Project (2010-2017) supported China’s efforts to ensure food safety by piloting and demonstrating ways and measures to improve agricultural product quality and reduce food safety risks. By introducing good agricultural practices, implementing agricultural product safety-related regulations, and developing an agricultural product safety monitoring system, the project benefited farmers, agro-businesses, consumers and society at large.
After the devastating 2008 earthquake, the Wenchuan Earthquake Recovery Project (2009-2016) restored and improved critical infrastructure, health, and education services in the severely affected counties of Sichuan and Gansu provinces, directly benefiting 12.7 million people. The project helped build the capacity of local governments and laid the foundation for more sustainable development and improving the quality of life and resilience of communities. A report on the lessons learned from the reconstruction has been published for international dissemination and many of the lessons from the Wenchuan Earthquake reconstruction are being applied elsewhere.
The Shandong Ecological Afforestation Project (2010-2016) planted trees on 66,915 hectares of barren mountainous slopes and saline coastal areas, increasing forest cover, reducing soil erosion, and improving the environment and biodiversity. The project developed and demonstrated effective and scalable afforestation models for environmentally degraded areas, generated additional incomes for 26,556 farm households, and provided an example for forest-based carbon sequestration.
The Yunnan Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project (2012-2017) helped improve the quality and relevance of technical and vocational education and training to produce skills that respond to labor market demand by strengthening school-industry collaboration, developing competency-based training curriculums and teaching materials, training school managers and teachers, developing student and teaching assessment systems, upgrading key instructional facilities and equipment, and strengthening the provincial capacity in coordination, policy development, and monitoring and evaluation.
The Guangdong Social Security Integration and Workers Training Project (approved in FY13) has supported the development of an integrated social security information system in this southern province with the largest number of migrant workers. Using state of the art technology, the new system makes access to services easier and more convenient and provides a model in China’s efforts to develop a nationally integrated social security information system.
The Ningbo New Countryside Development Project (2010-2016) provided wastewater services to 45,500 households in 144 rural villages, and improved water supply, wastewater services and road access for 76,500 residents in Chunhu Town, ensuring a cleaner environment and a better life for the people in Ningbo Municipality. The project developed China’s first rural wastewater discharge standards and made Ningbo Municipality the first place to have rural wastewater discharge standards in the country. Based on Ningbo’s standards, Zhejiang Province developed provincial rural wastewater discharge standards—the first province in the country to do so.
The Water Conservation Project II (2012-2017) helped improve agriculture water management and increase water productivity of crops in three water-scarce provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, and Ningxia in northern China. It supported the establishment of water users’ associations that empower farmers to manage irrigation water themselves and the development of an irrigation forecast system to guide farmers in using water more efficiently.
The Kunming Urban Rail Project (2011-2018), as the first metro project financed by the World Bank in China, supported development of a multimodal urban transport system that integrates rail, bus and cycling, and promoted green, compact and transit-oriented urban development.
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2019