How to Influence Chinese Investments

Why should you care about how to influence Chinese overseas investment?

China has become a major global investor since the beginning of the 21st century.  Chinese investment is reaching all corners of the globe, with Chinese companies and financial institutions active in both developed and developing countries on every continent. Chinese companies play various roles in overseas projects, from research and design to construction, development and operation. Chinese banks, investment funds and insurers make many overseas projects possible by providing loans, foreign currency, insurance and equity investments.

Chinese capital is flowing into various sectors, including energy, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, construction, trade and many other areas. This investment brings with it potential benefits, but also human rights, social and environmental risks. Communities that have been harmed by these investments, and the civil society groups that seek to support them, often encounter difficulties obtaining project information and engaging developers and financiers to influence project designs, preventing damaging investments or seeking redress for harms.

In response to these issues, an increasing number of Chinese companies and financiers have begun to adopt environmental and social policies for their overseas investments. Chinese state institutions and industry associations have also issued general guidelines and voluntary standards that apply to specific sectors and types of actors operating overseas.

The aim of this guide is to help community advocates understand how Chinese investors operate, the standards that apply to their overseas operations, and how to use these standards in advocacy with relevant Chinese actors to ensure that the rights of affected communities are respected and protected.

In this guide, you will find:

  • A background on Chinese overseas investment over the past two decades, from the “Going Out” strategy to the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s aid program.
  • An overview of the key actors involved in Chinese overseas investment, including state and non-state owned companies, financiers and investors, regulators and industry associations.
  • An overview of Chinese social and environmental policies and guidelines.
  • A deeper examination of particular sectors of Chinese investment and the standards that apply specifically to mining, agriculture and forestry, energy, finance and contracting.
  • A set of practical resources and quick reference guides, including tips for finding information on Chinese projects and stakeholders, tips for effectively engaging Chinese stakeholders and a compilation of standards, policies and guidelines that apply to Chinese overseas investment.

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The Context

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Actors

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Companies

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Financiers & Investors

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Insurers

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Regulatory Authorities

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Industry Associations

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Standards

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Development of overseas investment standards

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The Belt and Road Initiative

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Approval and monitoring of overseas investment

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Policies applying to state - owned enterprises

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Environmental protection guidelines

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Sectors

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Mining & Minerals

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Agriculture & Forestry

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Energy

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Finance

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Contracting

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Tips for Finding Information on Projects and Stakeholders

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Tips for Engaging Chinese Stakeholders

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Compilation of Chinese Standards

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