Development Aid to China Achieves GoalsIn disputing...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 31, 1994

Development Aid to China Achieves Goals

In disputing Zbigniew Brzezinski's recent argument for more Western aid to help stabilize post-Soviet Ukraine, Steve Hanke contended that foreign aid has generally proved to be counterproductive ("Poor Ukraine," March 4).

He cited China's growth and asserted that "aid to China was negligible."

Not true. According to the World Bank, for the seven years between 1985 and 1991, China's receipt of official development assistance (defined as loans and grants made on concessional financial terms by all bilateral official agencies and multilateral sources to promote economic development and welfare) averaged $1.67 billion per year, roughly comparable to the $1.98 billion average received by India in the same period.

This was indeed below the average of $2.68 billion that went annually to Egypt (a country cited by Mr. Hanke as contrast), especially when considering that China's population is almost 30 times that of the latter.

However, China has been the paramount beneficiary of another form of foreign aid: long-term, public and publicly guaranteed loans from outside.

The net flow of these low-interest loans to China jumped from $1.927 billion in 1980 to $5.667 billion in 1991.

This compared favorably to those going to India ($1.231 billion and $3.744 billion respectively) and Egypt ($2.435 billion and $552 million).

Indeed, China has been the leading recipient of this type of international financing ever since. The World Bank constitutes a major source of this form of funding for China.

According to official Beijing data, since resuming its official membership in the bank in May 1980, China obtained funding totaling $10.5 billion from that international body for 127 long-term projects.

Since 1991, China has emerged as the No. 1 recipient of World Bank loans; funding for the 1993 fiscal year topped $3.172 billion.

More importantly, most foreign aid to the former Soviet bloc so far went to purchasing food for current consumption and financing repayment or rescheduling of existing debts.

In China, the World Bank loans have been channeled into research and infrastructure projects in agriculture, energy, transportation, industry, finance, education, regional development and environmental protection.

The case of China illustrates that when judiciously and selectively infused to complement the recipient's domestic policies and environment, foreign aid can play a both positive and constructive role.

Chan K. Leung

Baltimore

The writer is a board member of Baltimore's Chinese Language School.

Criminals Control Guns

The Sun on March 21 printed "Guns: the Killer's Cuisinart," by Derrick Z. Jackson. His points on modern conveniences were well-taken and amusing, but then he gets to guns.

In his last paragraph he states, "There is no reason to think that anything short of a ban on new sales, a massive federal buyback program, and then long sentences for use of a gun in a crime and longer for firing it will stop the urge to use the killing tool of least resistance. We follow the march of technology in virtually every other walk of life. Guns are the killer's Cuisinart."

I strongly disagree with two-thirds of his "plan."

Why should a legitimate purchaser be prohibited from buying a gun for a legitimate purpose?

Make the waiting period longer, if you will, to give the police time to check out thoroughly the would-be purchaser. Have the investigator sign and date the necessary forms if this is not being done now. (I've never bought a gun so do not know).

Why throw money away in a massive federal buy-back? It's my money as well as his, and I'd rather use it to tighten the judicial system. Do away with the bleeding hearts and appeals ad nauseum. Give the victims or survivors as much consideration as is given the criminals.

Part 3 of his "plan" I like; so would the police, who then might have a chance to arrest a no-goodnik only once. Think of the time freed up so more policing could be done for the good of the law-abiding public.

Yes, I voted anti-National Rifle Association and for gun control. But we are not in control of guns. Criminals are.

It's not poverty that turns people to crime. It's lack of respect for themselves, parents, teachers, clergy, police, you name it.

Poverty doesn't require us to overcome it by getting drugs, drink, designer sneakers, jackets or gold whatever to deck ourselves out.

And none of these things brings respect.

Poverty is overcome (remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?) by work, by respecting ourselves and others, by helping each other through hard times -- not helping ourselves to whatever another person may have. Teach children respect.

Aurora F. Hagegeorge

Columbia

Library Support

Since 1979 Maryland has had a "minimum library program" for public library support.

It specifies the lowest per capita support acceptable for public libraries and provides for state funding of between 20 and 40 percent of the minimum level, depending on the wealth of the county being supported.

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