The influence of China outside its borders in the field of health is not new. More than fifteen centuries ago, the Silk Road spread Chinese medicine in India, Central Asia and the Middle East. In 1963, Mao-Tse-Tung and Chou-En-Lai sent the first Chinese medical team on the African continent, in Algeria. Since then, Chinese health official development assistance (ODA) to Africa has largely increased, in particular since the beginning of the 2000’s. Nowadays, China ranks among the top ten bilateral donors for health aid in Africa (Grépin et al., 2014). China's interest in Africa has deepened since the creation of the triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000. Medical and health care cooperation is one of the objectives defined for the new China-Africa Partnership in the Second White Paper on China’s Foreign Aid (2014).
Guillon, M., and Mathonnat, J. (2017) "Was there a shift in Chinese health aid allocation strategy to Africa over the 2000-2013 period?" Ferdi Policy Brief B167, March 2017