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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

An image of a box containing weapons behind a fence

Undermining Global Security: Measuring the Risk of Arms Exports and Commitment to Development

Just weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden announced a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This follows similar promising commitments from Italy last month. As security and development are mutually reinforcing concepts, what countries do on arms exports matters for development. We look at arms exports across all major economies—both in terms of value and their “conflict potential.” We analyse the extent to which the choice of arms customers is likely to increase risk and undermine development, and highlight which countries should be taking more action on reducing the conflict potential of their arms exports.

A screenshot of the top of the country report for China in the 2020 CDI.

CDI 2020: China’s Commitment to Development

China’s policy commitment to development ranks 35th of the 40 countries in the CDI. Some of the results may seem counterintuitive: Most people know that China provides major levels of finance to Africa, and that it’s a big producer of greenhouse gases. However, after we take account of country size to enable comparisons between countries, our index ranks China last on development finance but well above the US and in the top ten on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

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