British aid helped revive economies of two steel-producing areas in China
£21m paid to help loss-making state-owned businesses from 1999 to 2004
Liaoning and Sichuan provinces used to be areas of economic decline
Liaoning is now a major producer of pig iron and steel, while Sichuan is one of China’s largest producers of coal, energy, iron and steel
British aid helped revive the economies of two of China’s biggest steel-producing areas.
The Department for International Development (DFID) paid £21 million to fund a project aimed at turning around a number of loss-making state-owned businesses in Liaoning and Sichuan between 1999 and 2004.
The two provinces used to be areas of economic decline but now Liaoning is a major producer of pig iron and steel, while Sichuan is one of China’s largest producers of coal, energy, iron and steel.
China has been blamed for the crisis in the British steel industry by dumping cheap products into countries including the UK – threatening more than 40,000 jobs here.
A DFID spokesman said: ‘DFID ended financial aid to China in 2011.
‘A China/UK partnership on humanitarian emergency response has been set up to help boost resilience to disasters in developing countries in the Asia region.’
But the British aid is still flowing. Figures seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal that taxpayers will send £1.4 million to China this year through this new partnership.