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Hmmm… The underlying reasons for the continued relevance multi-lateral lending in China are complicated and varied, and confirmation as to whether “…China can bankroll its own projects” may not be so straight-forward. While I am not qualified to give anything remotely close to an official response, I can give you my own thoughts… Although rapidly evolving, in general, provincial and national standards for evaluating transport infrastructure funding proposals have been limited to a few key criteria, the foremost being financial viability. In China, local governments are not necessarily required to show how public inputs were incorporated into infrastructure plans, provide detailed alternative analyses that show how the selected infrastructure option is the most efficient and economical means to support a given transport objective, or present similar analyses or demonstrations that may be required in other countries. When the Bank is involved in an infrastructure project in China, financial merit becomes only one of many equally important lending criteria. Not only do Bank projects require analyses and demonstrations for economic merit, environment planning, resettlement planning, public participation, procurement transparency, and other environmental and social concerns as a prerequisite for loan approval, the Bank will also provide the technical expertise necessary establish “safeguards” to uphold the financial, environmental, economic, and social sustainability of a given project. Thus, when a local government is developing a high-profile infrastructure project, and the national government wants assurance that the project meets international design and procurement standards, with environmental and social issues managed in a transparent manner, the Bank can actually be a very efficient and powerful intermediary. I can say from my limited experience working on projects in other countries, the Bank’s contribution to lending programs has been very clear, particularly in developing on-going procedures for ensuring environmental sustainability, creating forums for public participation and precedent for transparency, and in initiating collaboration across different government agencies… I welcome my more seasoned colleagues working in China to chime in...