Aid to China as they land probe on Moon attacked

The Government has been criticised for giving millions of pounds in aid to China, despite the country being able to afford an ambitious space programme.

Figures show the UK distributed £27.4m to the country last year.

China, now the world’s second largest economy, according to the World Bank, celebrated at the weekend when it successfully landed a probe on the Moon.

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The Government said it no longer gives aid to China directly, but via non-governmental partners working to achieve UK objectives such as tackling climate change.

But Tory MP Peter Bone called on International Development Secretary Justine Greening to explain why UK money was still going to China. He told the Daily Mail: “It’s extraordinary that we are doing this while they send a mission to the Moon.”

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “Since 2011, we have stopped or are in the process of stopping bilateral aid to over a dozen countries that are becoming more prosperous, like China and Russia. This has allowed us to concentrate our efforts where the need is greatest and where we can have most impact.

“It is right that where these programmes have closed that [we continue] to work with non-governmental partners on global issues like sustaining economic growth and climate change which affect us all.”