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Why Does The U.S. Still Give Millions Of Dollars In Aid To China

Wang Yang, China's vice premier, left, and Jacob 'Jack' Lew, U.S. treasury secretary, attend a chief executive officer roundt
Wang Yang, China's vice premier, left, and Jacob 'Jack' Lew, U.S. treasury secretary, attend a chief executive officer roundtable with U.S. and Chinese business leaders during the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 11, 2013. The U.S. and China are meeting this week to find ways to balance a wider flow of investment and goods as their central banks try to prevent excessive risk-taking from derailing the world's biggest economies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The United States provided $28.3 million in foreign assistance and funding programs to China via USAID and the State Department in 2012, according to a May report from the Congressional Research Service. It projects that number to decrease slightly in 2013, to $25.5 million. Roughly half of the U.S. funding is administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which focuses on four main areas in China: environmental protection, rule of law, HIV/AIDS, and sustainable development for Tibetans. "I believe that our foreign aid to China furthers U.S. interests," said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), who chairs the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommitttee of the Foreign Relations Committee, in a phone interview. But a USAID official, who asked to speak on background, took issue with calling the assistance to China "aid." "We are using some assistance to do technical cooperation in a few key areas, which are narrow and defined in scope," the official said. It's "directed" assistance, the official added, noting that these programs were not controversial.

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Top Recipients Of U.S. Foreign Aid