Foreword: Traditional and «new» donors in Asia: an introduction
Since the mid-1990s, international development cooperation, including multilateral cooperation, has undergone profound changes. The number of actors (including non-state actors) engaged in development activities has increased; intervention methods and tools have transformed and multiplied (for example, foreign direct investment and remittances of migrant workers have assumed particular importance). In addition, the contribution of the private sector has been increasingly highlighted as an indispensable resource and is ever more present in defining new strategies. Moreover, some areas of action have turned out to have higher priority (environment, fight against poverty, support for good governance and internal security) than others, while the strong economic growth of some countries has changed the map of poverty in the world, highlighting how today the majority of the poor, about 75%, is concentrated in middle-income countries. One of the most significant transformations in the development landscape has been the emergence of a new activism on the part of a group of countries that in relatively recent years have experienced strong economic growth. Classified by the World Bank among the low-income countries until the beginning of the 2000s, they have since then gradually increased foreign aid flows and acquired a certain relevance in the field, so as to become known as «new donors» or «emerging donors» within the international aid community. These countries are also defined as «non-DAC donors», as they are not members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the body established within the framework of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) at the beginning of the 1960s and that now counts thirty members. DAC was established under pressure from the United States, who wanted to push the European allies to greater involvement in the Western foreign aid effort aimed at the new independent countries. Washington viewed these countries as a new front in the Cold War, in a phase characterized by the acceleration of the decolonization process and by a growing bipolar confrontation on models of development.
Over the years, DAC has become a forum for coordinating aid policies of the major donors, based on some choices that inevitably reflected the Western view (in the first period, in particular, the US view) of the economic relations between the North and the South (emphasis on the transfer of capital and technical assistance, little attention to the role of international trade as a tool for development). Moreover, it represented an attempt to «depoliticise» these relationships through the elaboration of principles and good practices of economic assistance.
DAC has indeed favoured, over time, the consolidation of a certain level of consensus among Western countries on certain rules and principles of international cooperation policies. It has developed a very strict definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA), publishing statistics and studies on the policies of each member country and, more recently, working to improve the effectiveness of aid. From the outset, however, it was perceived by the Third World as a «club of the rich countries», whose rules the recipients were somehow forced to suffer.
Attempts to oppose such a vision of North-South relations were not lacking, already in the 1960s especially within the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and, in the following decade, through the set of proposals for the establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO). They, while not failing to recognize the usefulness of foreign aid, aimed at seeking fairer rules of international trade and a redistribution of wealth at an international level, already imagining different forms of South-South cooperation (SSC) for this purpose.
The «new donors» are now a rather heterogeneous group of countries that includes the BRICS, certain Arab countries (led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), Asian and Latin American countries. They base their policies on the principles of SSC and generally continue to receive aid from the international community in various forms and at various levels.
Although it is difficult to assess their aid flows, due to a lack of complete and comparable data, the most recent OECD Development Co-operation report estimates that in 2015 flows from the totality of the non-DAC countries amounted to nearly US$ 25 billion, approximately 15.8% of total ODA flows. It is worth noting that these countries still have significant levels of absolute poverty within them, and thus, it is important to try to understand the political and economic reasons that motivate them to devote substantial sums to foreign aid. However, beyond increasing sums invested in aid, their action «is having a transformative impact on the purposes and character of development cooperation», also because they claim, especially the major ones, that their cooperation policy has a singular aspect compared to that of the so-called «traditional» donors. Activism in this field poses several problems and challenges to the members of DAC and the system of rules, mostly unwritten, that they have defined in recent decades. In particular, there is the problem of harmonisation and coordination of the policies of new donors with the concerted rules within DAC. The question of accessibility and transparency of data (a theme on which the 2017 OECD Development Co-operation report focuses precisely) also arises. The subject of how to ensure the effectiveness of the aid, the problem of what goals and sectors of intervention the international community should give priority to, and what the role of the state in the processes of development should be have likewise emerged.
Literature on the role of non-DAC donors, of an economic and political nature most of all, is rather wide and evaluates the various innovations introduced by the new actors in a heterogeneous manner, going from strong scepticism to cautious optimism. In general, all authors highlight the effect that the action of emerging donors is having on the governance of international policies for development and how it may impact on the economies of the receiving countries. They dwell on the fact that aid granted without conditions may encumber the foreign debt of certain countries which are already heavily exposed with the international community, and support dictatorial regimes, which ignore respect for human rights. Some studies highlight the fact that new donors’ policies tolerate or encourage non-respect of environmental standards, which international donors have so much insisted on in recent years. The most critical among them have detected a neo-colonial approach that can be found in the emerging donors’ aid efforts, believing that their aim is directed mainly to the acquisition of raw materials at low cost – necessary for the development of their growing economies – and the acquisition of new markets for their exports. Others have, instead, seen these changes with less scepticism, emphasizing the positive effects that the emergence of a greater power of choice between different sources of financing and development models can have on receiving countries.
Traditional donors and international institutions have reacted to the non-DAC countries’ new assertiveness in international aid in different ways. In general, however, it has been with a certain deliberateness and with an approach that seems to tend more to «integrate» the policies of the latter in the current system rather than to transform it through real dialogue, and that up to now seems to have convinced their interlocutors little. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) have taken conscience, with extreme delay, of the need for changes in their governance in the light of the increasing role of those countries that since the mid-2000s have represented the greatest source of growth of global GDP. Impelled on the one hand by a gap of legitimacy and credibility (especially in the light of the failures recorded by the IMF on the occasion of the Asian crisis of 1997-98), and on the other by the effect of an increasingly manifest competition represented by the presence of important new sources of financing, the international financial institutions (IFIs) have tried to walk the path of reform. This has been carried out slowly, and without modifying the role played within them by the major emerging countries in any substantial way.
Similarly, DAC donors have only recognized the need for dialogue with the emerging actors in recent years, above all to preserve an important role for the Committee in the international aid architecture.
In 2005, DAC launched an «Outreach Strategy» which, in the framework of an institutional reform then underway in the OECD, laid the basis for dialogue with the emerging donors in an attempt to transform the «club of rich countries» into a «broader multilateral development forum». The instruments provided to implement the strategy included the sharing of statistics on aid flows and the participation of non-DAC countries as observers in the meetings of the Committee and in the process of peer review of member states’ cooperation policies. The DAC outreach strategy was reviewed in 2008 and focused on Brazil, India, China and South Africa, major emerging donors and countries which DAC members believed they could engage with in a closer cooperation process. In the same year, the so-called «Strategic Reflection Exercise» was also initiated, aimed at assessing ways to strengthen the role of DAC in a changing aid architecture. From this initiative, the need to cooperate and coordinate with emerging donors was highlighted.
Attention to non-DAC countries emerged, in parallel, again within the framework of the work on aid effectiveness, initiated by DAC in 2003. Triggered by the awareness of Member States of the need to tackle the main critical aspects of the system of international aid, it aimed at greater effectiveness of cooperation policies. The new actors were involved more fully in this process in 2008, during the High-Level Forum in Accra (HLF-3), whose final document explicitly recognized the importance of their action. Dialogue on aid effectiveness culminated with the creation of the so-called «Global partnership for effective development cooperation», which emerged from the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4), held in Busan, 2011. The final document adopted on this occasion represents an important change in terms of approach of cooperation policies, since it replaces the concept of «development effectiveness» with that of «aid effectiveness». This amendment was proposed by the new donors to give greater prominence to the mechanisms and spirit of SSC, in which the aid relationship is defined in horizontal and partnership terms. In addition, the implementation of this new agenda was entrusted to the joint action of OECD and the United Nations (UN).
Thus far, however, various attempts of the «traditional» donors’ community to engage the «emerging» donors does not seem to have produced very encouraging results. Indeed, China, Brazil, India and South Africa signed the Paris Declaration of 2005 as recipients and not as donors, participated with great scepticism at the meeting in Busan, by signing the final document with reserve, and did not take part to the two high-level meetings of the Global Partnership, held, respectively, in Mexico City in 2014 and in Nairobi in 2016. Their absence, in addition to implicitly putting the «global» nature of a partnership from which significant actors are excluded into discussion, highlighted the distances between the two groups of countries. This was coupled with the suspicions of the emerging donors regarding a process that they continue to consider as a further attempt to project the values, principles and practices that have hitherto governed DAC countries’ development cooperation.
The essays in this supplement aim to illustrate the origins, the motives and the objectives of foreign aid policies implemented by the major «emerging donors» in Asia (China and India) in the last twenty years.
In particular, the analysis tries to assess which role the emerging donors assign to their foreign aid policies in the pursuit of foreign policy goals. They attempt to explain how and why the rules, practices and objectives of international development cooperation have constantly been challenged, and to illustrate how their choices are changing the international aid landscape in Asia.
Secondly, the contributions compare the policies of the «new donors» with those of the major traditional donors in the area (EU and Japan), and show their responses to the emergence of such novelties, trying to bring to light if and how their policies and their interventions have adapted to these challenges.
As mentioned above, literature on the action of new donors is very broad but deals mainly with the analysis of current policies and possible future developments, focusing mostly on the bilateral relations of each donor. The originality of the contributions presented here lies in the attempt at tracing the roots of current political choices in the history of each actor involved. The emphasis is on the strong historical continuity of the objectives and inspiring principles of their aid policies since the 1960s whilst analysing them in their multilateral dimension.
Finally, the new role acquired by the «emerging donors» can be interpreted as an aspect of the full realization of the principles and goals of SSC and therefore be placed in a broader context. Starting from this interpretation, the first essay traces the origins and evolution of the inspiring principles of cooperation among developing countries, illustrating key moments of implementation and highlighting elements of continuity with respect to current Southern donors’ aid policies. These are seen as a counterbalancing moment, and as a challenge to traditional international cooperation.
This reading can contribute to provide a more articulated picture of the significance of the current transformations of international aid architecture and the scope of the novelties that accompany them. It highlights how they are not a new datum in the panorama of recent years but rather the result of a journey that started in Bandung, passing through the proposals on the NIEO of the 1970s, to reach us unchanged regarding certain guiding principles. Moreover, the peculiar approach to international aid policies of some emerging countries reflects their wider challenge to the international liberal order that emerged from the Second World War.
Although this is particularly evident in the case of China, likewise for other emerging countries is a more assertive cooperation policy accompanied by repeated requests for reform of the membership and functioning of the major international organizations. The requests concern, above all, the UN Security Council and of the IFIs, whose governance they no longer deem adequate to reflect the real balance of international political and economic power.
According to this perspective, Angela Villani’s essay aims at reconstructing the long journey that has led to the emergence of the principles of SSC, tracing the origins back to the conference of Bandung. It then goes on to examine the support that the UN have offered to projects of horizontal cooperation, from the first attempts at the implementation of the NIEO proposals (in which cooperation between developing countries was one of the central points), to the Buenos Aires Conference of 1978 up to the years of the post-Cold War era. At the time, horizontal cooperation was relaunched to acquire ever greater force, pushed by the amazing economic growth of some countries of the Global South and by their search for a greater role on the international scene. The essay provides an extremely useful framework of reference inside of which it is possible to place the action of countries that today appear to be the most active in development cooperation, particularly India and China. The strong continuity of the principles that inspired SSC emerges very clearly, as well as the peculiarity of this approach compared to that of Western countries. Firstly, non-DAC countries have always claimed the eminently political character of horizontal cooperation, founded on the principles of Third World solidarity, more than on an economic basis. Secondly, they refuse to apply any form of political conditionality to their aid programs, insisting on the respect of national sovereignty of the «partner country». Lastly, there is a significant distance on the idea of what content the cooperation should have, with a strong emphasis being placed by donors from the South on infrastructural projects, technical assistance and human resources improvement. Thus, the difficulty of reconciling this approach with that developed by DAC countries is better understood; the latter, in fact, over time, has been built and presented as a neutral, «apolitical» approach to the problems of development. In the same way, it highlights that the request to insert different principles and a plurality of ideas into international aid policies and, more generally, into the organization of international institutions, has not just emerged in recent years. It represents, on the contrary, a theme that has always been present in the debates of the non-aligned countries and in their international action.
The contributions of Alessandra Testoni on India and Lorella Tosone on China and the UN analyse the policies of the major Asian non-DAC donors. These two countries are particularly significant, and their cooperation has substantially increased in recent years, accompanied by a greater assertiveness in foreign policy.
The essay by Alessandra Testoni reconstructs the evolution of Indian policies from the 1950s to today, from Nehru’s socialism to the opening of the country to international markets. This started with Indira Gandhi and continued with Rajiv Gandhi, and describes the complex set of instruments that India uses today in its cooperation. India development policy in fact, went through a major revival in 2003, when the country became a net donor, declaring itself willing to accept, for the future, only aid from selected countries and international organizations. It initiated a more substantial policy in which financial instruments and technical assistance mingle with trade agreements and cultural links to make Indian aid an instrument of soft power in support of the foreign policy of the country in the region.
The essay by Lorella Tosone analyses Chinese cooperation from the particular point of observation of the UN. Leaving Chinese bilateral aid policy in the background, on which much has been written especially regarding Africa, the contribution reconstructs the positions of Beijing in debates at the UN relating to development issues, from the 1970s to today. It reveals the peculiarity of China’s engagement in multilateral cooperation and its difficulties in managing the different, sometimes contradictory, images of itself that it has projected to the world. These include a developing country, a fully-fledged part of the Third World, a great country with veto power in the Security Council and a country with surprising growth rates that, however, still receives aid from the international community.
Inspired by the tradition of SSC, the policies of India and China have many elements in common. Both countries have recently become net contributors, receiving in terms of aid less than they give and both have increased their action in the field of development with the beginning of the new millennium and in correspondence with a considerable economic growth. Equally they use forms of aid which include different elements (loans, gifts, trade agreements) and which is not possible to include in the DAC system of statistics on ODA. Seizing the potential for development of Africa and the opportunities offered to them by the countries of that continent, they have destined huge resources to the latter (Testoni notes that «in 2030, one half of humanity will be Chinese, African and Indian, and Chindiafrique […] and will account for two thirds of the young population between fifteen and twenty-five years of age») and created multilateral forums for dialogue and coordination with the various states of the continent (FOCAC by China and IAFS by India). Finally, both refuse to adhere to DAC and adapt to the coordination of cooperation policies according to the schemes suggested by the Committee. Instead, they, propose new approaches and demand an effective «plurality of voices» in the organization of international aid. Despite these important points of convergence in interpreting and implementing the principles of horizontal cooperation, there are important differences in approach between the two countries. Both China and India project a precise model of development together with aid, which naturally refers to their experience: that of a socialist country, China; that of a great country with a long democratic tradition, India. Furthermore, they refer to two different ways of interpreting the role of the state in the processes of development, with India embracing neo-liberal reforms, and China instead linked to a model in which the state has closely guided the development process of the country. Finally, two other interesting elements emerge from these essays. Testoni gives a glimpse of the competition that is prefiguring between China and India in Africa and, potentially, in any other area of common intervention, an analysis of which will soon result to be of great interest for the study of respective foreign policies. Tosone puts the Chinese approach to multilateral cooperation into a broader framework, referring to the projection of the power of a country that now considers itself a great power, and to its challenge to the liberal international order.
The essays by Nicola Mocci and Guia Migani examine the action of major traditional donors in Asia, Japan and the EU. Both contributions show that traditional donors have been slow to acknowledge the innovations introduced in the cooperation scenario by emerging actors, especially China and India. It explains how they have continued to set their cooperation policies apart from these innovations, by pursuing national interests, as in previous periods.
This lack of understanding of the changes taking place in the area appears as a missed opportunity to stand up, and respond appropriately, to the sort of «aid offensive» implemented by «new donors» (especially from China) and used by the latter as a further instrument of foreign policy in the area.
The work of Nicola Mocci focuses on the specific case of Japanese cooperation in Cambodia. Also in this case, is there a bond of long standing dating back to the 1950s that has strengthened over time, despite the various moments of instability that have characterized Cambodian politics. Mocci proposes an interpretation of Japanese-Cambodian relations which goes beyond the argument of those who see an instrument of soft power aimed at countering Chinese assertiveness in the area, in the Japanese aid policy, or of those who believe it aspires instead to create «comprehensive regional security» in which development is seen as a prerequisite for human development. A long-term analysis of the Japanese action in Cambodia leads Mocci to argue instead that, along with aid flows, Tokyo cooperation has brought, and brings with it, the projection of a neoliberal model of development, functional to the interests of the Japanese economy and foreign policy in the area. According to Mocci, this model has contributed to the economic growth of the country on the one hand, while on the other, has «helped to consolidate an unfair and unequal production system».
The essay by Guia Migani reconstructs EEC/EU relations with ASEAN countries since the 1970s, highlighting how they have also been quite troubled in certain moments. They have been conditioned, on the one hand, by the European approach, which has constantly aimed at strengthening its presence in an economically growing area and, on the other, by the suspicions of the ASEAN countries which have perceived a neo-colonial approach in their development needs in this search for a «partnership with conditions». The EU has, in fact, focused its policies toward ASEAN on the strengthening of trade links and paid a great deal of attention to political conditionality. Mostly motivated by self-interest not to lose important trade links with the countries of the area, the EU has neglected to take into account the discomfort and resistance of its Asian partners with respect to its insistence on human rights, environmental protection and good governance. It perceived the emergence of new development cooperation actors in the area only with a certain delay, not considering the effect of «replacement» that the economic aid and trade opportunities offered by the latter could have on the choices of the recipients. From this perspective, the comparison with Indian and Chinese aid policies is even more impressive, especially with regard to the choice not to affix political conditions to their foreign aid and to the commitment not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the recipients.
All contributions highlight how the confrontation between principles, models of development and cooperation policies is not a recent phenomenon at all, but a long-lasting one. The significant economic growth that some countries have experienced in recent years, however, now makes their different approaches more visible and their ambition to negotiate with traditional donors as equal partners more realistic. They expect a greater say in the definition of the principles, values and objectives that should guide international cooperation for development in the future. Finally, all the authors stress how aid flows are accompanied, in the same area, by the projection of different, perhaps irreconcilable, development models, which represent an aspect of the attempt to exert greater influence in the area by each of the actors described here.
 Bruce Jenks & Bruce Jones, United Nations Development at a Crossroads, New York University: Center on International Cooperation, August 2013, pp. 5-6. See also Emma Mawdsley, From recipients to donors. Emerging powers and the changing development landscape, London-New York: Zed Books, 2012, pp. 33-35; Andy Sumner, ‘Where Do the Poor Live?’, World Development, vol. 40, Issue 5, 2012, pp. 865-877.
 Since the beginning of the 2000s, middle-income countries have been the major sources of growth of the international economy. See Bruce Jenks & Bruce Jones, United Nations Development at a Crossroads, p. 3.
 Not all of these countries can be defined «new donors» or «emerging donors» as many of them have a more or less long tradition of development cooperation. For an in-depth study on the use of these definitions see Emma Mawdsley, From recipients to donors, pp. 4-7.
 The DAC defines ODA as «the resource flows to countries and territories on the DAC List of ODA Recipients and to multilateral development institutions that are: i) Provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies; and ii) Concessional (i.e. grants and soft loans) and administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as the main objective.» Official flows between governments that do not meet the above criteria are defined as «other official flows» (OOF) in DAC statistics and are not formally recognized as foreign aid flows. OECD, ‘Official Development Assistance. Definition and coverage’ (http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/officialdevelopmentassistancedefinitionandcoverage.htm).
 OECD, Development Co-operation Report 2017: Data for Development, Paris: OECD Publishing, 2017, p. 285. See also Willem Luijkx & Julia Benn, Emerging providers’ international co-operation for development, OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers, April 2017.
 While not being members of the DAC, some of these countries, about 20, provide the Committee with more or less detailed information on their bilateral aid policies (among them Saudi Arabia, which allocated US$ 6.8 billion in ODA in 2015, United Arab Emirates, US$ 4.4 billion, Turkey, US$ 3.9 billion, and the Russian Federation, US$ 1.2 billion), while others, about ten, do not report such data to the OECD, but make official statistics available regarding their programs. In the case of the latter, the OECD relies on estimates, drawn up on the basis of the data collected from various sources. According to these estimates, from 2011 to 2015 China provided approximately US$ 15.4 billion in ODA, India 6.2 billion, Qatar 2.2 billion and Brazil and South Africa approximately one billion each. For further details see OECD, Development Co-operation Report 2017, pp. 286-298 and pp. 299-306.
 In absolute terms, this figure grew for the years 2011-2014, the period during which total contributions of non-DAC countries increased from US$ 14.1 to 31.7 billion, and then underwent a decrease in 2015. Ibid., p. 156.
 Although these data are in constant decline, in 2011 21.9% of the Indian population lived below the national poverty line; in China 12.7%, in Brazil 11%. World Bank, Global Poverty Working Group. (https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.NAHC?locations=IN).
 Bruce Jenks & Bruce Jones, United Nations Development at a Crossroads, p. 4. The need for transparent, reliable data is demonstrated by the fact that different estimates, referring to previous periods, puts the ODA of these countries between US$ 11 and 42 billion, i.e. between 8% and 31% of total flows. See Julie Walz & Vijaya Ramachandran, Brave New World. A Literature Review of Emerging Donors and the Changing Nature of Foreign Assistance, Center for Global Development Working Paper 273, November 2011, p. 3.
 See, for example, Isaline Bergamaschi, Phoebe Moore & Arlene B. Tickner (eds.), South-South Cooperation Beyond the Myths: Rising Donors, New Aid Practices?, London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017; Iain Watson, Foreign Aid and Emerging Powers: Asian Perspectives on Official Development Assistance, New York: Routledge, 2014; Sachin Chaturvedi, Thomas Fues & Elizabeth Sidiropoulos (eds.), Development Cooperation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns?, London: Zed Books, 2012; S. Paulo & H. Reisen, ‘Eastern donors and western soft law: towards a DAC donor peer review of China and India?’, Development Policy Review, vol. 28, Issue 5, 2010, pp. 535-552; Ngaire Sven Grimm, John Humphrey, Erik Lundsgaarde & Sarah-Lea John de Sousa, European development cooperation to 2020: challenges by new actors in international development, EDC Working Paper no. 4, May 2009; Ngaire Woods, ‘Whose aid? Whose influence? China, emerging donors and the silent revolution in development assistance’, International Affairs, Vol. 84, Issue 6, 2008, pp. 1205-1221.
 See, for example, Moises Naim, ‘Rogue aid. What’s wrong with the foreign aid programs of China, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia? They are enormously generous. And they are toxic’, Foreign Policy, 15 October 2009.
 Gregory Chin & B. Michael Frolic, Emerging donors in development assistance: The China case, International Development Research Centre, 2007; Soyeun Kim & Simon Lightfoot, ‘Does ‘DAC‐Ability’ Really Matter? The emergence of non‐DAC Donors: Introduction to Policy Arena’, Journal of International Development, Vol. 23, Issue 5, 2011, pp. 711-721; Richard Manning, ‘Will «emerging donors» change the face of international cooperation?’, Development Policy Review, Vol. 24, Issue 4, 2006, pp. 371-85; Felix Zimmermann & Kimberly Smith, ‘More actors, more money, more ideas for international development co-operation’, Journal of International Development, Vol. 23, Issue 5, 2011, pp. 722-738.
 Bruce Jenks & Bruce Jones, United Nations Development at a Crossroads, p. 3.
 Emma Mawdsley, From recipients to donors, pp. 183-184.
 Ngaire Woods, ‘Global governance after the financial crisis: a new multilateralism or the last gasp of the Great Powers?’, Global Policy, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2010, pp. 51-63.
 Anna Katharina Stahl, EU-China-Africa Trilateral Relations in a Multipolar World. Hic Sunt Dracones, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, p. 79.
 Ibid., p. 75.
 Ibid., pp. 77-79.
 On the point of view of the new donors, in particular in China, on Global Partnership see Xiaoyun Li, Should China join the GPEDC? The prospects for China and the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, Discussion Paper n. 17, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik, 2017.