China Will Invest $12 Billion in the Underdeveloped World and Clear its Debts

Do you watch Mr. Robot? If not, you should.

The universally-praised series follows cyber-vigilante Elliot Alderson who, together with an advanced group of hackers, plans to take down one of the world’s biggest corporations and cancel all debts people owe it. It’s a noble cause and actually seems kind of plausible, though obviously very illegal.

Over the weekend, China announced the intention to exercise its own round of well-intention debt relief, pledging $2 billion to assist developing countries by significantly increasing investment in education, healthcare and economic and cancelling debts for the world’s least developed nations. The goals are part of a 15-year plan that will reach $12 billion in investment by 2020.

“Looking around the world, peace and development remain the two major themes of the times,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping at a UN summit on development goals in New York. “To solve various global challenges, including the recent refugee crisis in Europe, the fundamental solutions lie in seeking peace and realizing development.”

Having already displayed an ability to lift millions of families out of poverty domestically, China’s focus on repeating the task beyond its own borders suggests it is embracing some of responsibilities to come with its emerging superpower status.

China’s altruism, of course, is equally rooted in self-interest as it is in concern for the welfare of others. The country’s stagnant manufacturing sector – the key driver behind its emerging prosperity – will benefit long-term as underdeveloped economies begin to participate in trade and mutual investment with China.

Perhaps not quite Mr. Robot, but certainly an encouraging example of how to exercise soft power and modern thinking to eradicate poverty and build a more equitable world.