AidData, the international development research lab based at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute, is in the spotlight again following the launch of a groundbreaking new report and dataset detailing new findings regarding China’s lending practices.
The findings were detailed in media outlets worldwide, including a front page story in The New York Times, as well as coverage from BBC News, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. Wire services Reuters, Bloomberg and Agence France Presse also covered the launch.
AidData’s Executive Director Brad Parks, one of four authors of the report, worked with colleagues at the World Bank, the Harvard Kennedy School and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy to publish, “China as an International Lender of Last Resort,” that shows how China has dramatically expanded emergency rescue lending to sovereign borrowers in financial distress or outright default.
The data demonstrates that by the end of 2021, China had undertaken 128 rescue loan operations worth $240 billion across 22 debtor countries.
AidData’s Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF) team, which includes around 60 William & Mary students and nine full-time faculty and staff, was responsible for the new dataset on which the report is based, and AidData is the singular host of the data.
The report and data were the subjects of multiple pieces by The Financial Times. The outlet’s main piece was its most-read story for more than 36 hours, reaching at least 600,000 readers. Financial Times also featured the report in its “FT News Briefing” podcast, and it also published a follow-up editorial.
Within hours, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the report and media coverage. At the daily press briefing in Beijing on March 28, spokesperson Mao Ning addressed it as the second topic of the agenda.
Parks was interviewed on the BBC World Service Radio program “Business Matters,” as well as NPR’s “The World,” and he also spoke on CBC’s national radio show “As It Happens,” which airs on NPR, as well as on a program on Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
AidData is no stranger to widespread international media coverage. In September of 2021, a report on China’s secretive overseas development finance program caught the attention of media outlets worldwide, such as BBC News, French newspaper Le Monde and Japan’s Kyodo News, to name a few.
Staff, University News & Media