In the last decade or so China has re-emerged as an important actor in the international development cooperation arena at a time when development cooperation was undergoing reflection and critical revaluations in many traditional donor countries. The academic and policy debate on China's re-emergence as a donor has been divided between proponents who saw a new hope for the developing world, where lessons for the developing world could be drawn. Opponents or critics, on the other hand, posed a critical stand against China’s non-adherence to the common standards, principles and practices of traditional donors considered fruits of decades long international development experience.

However, despite a myriad of publications on China international development policy and practice, much is still needed to fully grasp its architecture. How is it developed? What motivates it? How's does China conceptualize foreign aid? Does it draw from its own experience as an aid recipient and as a developing country? What are some of the practical implications of Chinese foreign aid? This thesis seeks to answer these questions by drawing heavily on Chinese sources, bringing together various complementary literatures supported by field research in Uganda, a developing country and recipient of Chinese foreign aid and investment and a trade partner.

Although, various complementary analytical frameworks were used, the binding concept revolves around the role interaction of the domestic and international forces in shaping China’s foreign aid policy and practices. This contributes to the literature on Chinese foreign aid by filling the gap in the literature on how domestic political forces and their interaction with the international context shape Chinese foreign aid policy and practices. This will be useful when analyzing future trends as the composition and interaction of domestic political forces change, and situations in international context develop.