This In Brief is the first in a four-part series that aims to enrich the debate on PICs–China development cooperation on SDGs and build on my recent report for the United Nations Development Programme in China. It discusses China’s stance on the SDGs and the main challenges for PICs, and provides recommendations for PICs to better engage with China. This In Brief argues that PICs need to engage with China strategically to maximise aid opportunities in order to implement the SDGs. Part two will explore the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on PICs’ SDGs implementation. Parts three and four will focus on PICs–China engagement in agriculture and education.