Conventional wisdom suggests United States’ economic foreign aid is wasted and should be cut. In challenging this conventional wisdom, I argue that though there is potential for good through foreign aid, bilateral aid programs like that of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation resemble neo-colonialism. This paper examines international aid’s effects on establishing debt traps, promoting exploitation, and reinforcing hierarchy. Through analysis of primary and secondary evidence, including but not limited to UNCTAD and WWF-SIGHT reports, I look at how the effects of international aid contribute to the sovereignty of the recipient countries. My findings reveal that though Chinese international aid and investment has creates several positive short-term changes in African economies, these advances come with a cost. Due to a lack of regulations on aid-based development projects, powerful countries are allowed to take advantage of both the recipients’ natural resources and political sovereignty.