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Since the mid-1990s the Chinese Government has been implementing a development programme of historic proportions in the western part of the country. Its success in reducing the number of people in poverty and achieving Millennium Development goals has stimulated a lot of interest. China is increasingly involved in the development efforts of a number of low-income countries. There is a lot of uncertainty about how its increasing prominence will affect development partnerships in these countries. The Chinese government has built highly effective partnerships with DFID, the World Bank and other agencies in its Western China Development Programme. This policy brief describes the experiences of a three-way partnership in the Basic Health Services Project and explores lessons for partnership-building elsewhere.