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Chinese international
investments and sustainability:
Where do we stand?
Jan Knoerich
Lau China Institute, King’s College London
UCL EISPS China Centre for Politics, Law and Culture Roundtable
15 June 2022
Sustainable
development
“Development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs.”
3 core elements:
1. economic growth
2. social inclusion
3. environmental protection
Source:
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/dev
elopment-agenda/
What is the
Belt and
Road
Initiative
(BRI)?
• China’s initiative for the construction of primarily
infrastructure and energy projects along the
former Silk Road and beyond
• Addresses the enormous infrastructure gap in
Asia and the growth potential associated with
connectivity
• Quasi-institutionalised through the Belt and Road
Forum, plus MoUs with individual countries
• Primarily involves Chinese (state-owned)
enterprises
• Strong funding support from Chinese policy
banks
BRI focuses on project finance
CONTRACTED INFRASTRUCTURE
CONSTRUCTION
MAY INVOLVE FOREIGN DIRECT
INVESTMENT (FDI)
The BRI and
Sustainability
• The BRI mobilises aspects of China’s positive
development experience.
• The is contributing to development – of both
China and the BRI countries – but there are some
issues.
• The BRI is not necessarily about sustainable
development.
• There’s a general ambition to make the BRI
sustainable and “green” – the fulfilment of those
ambitions remains a challenge.
• Chinese investments are latecomers on
sustainability but catching up.
Thank you!
Jan.Knoerich@kcl.ac.uk
Relevant papers:
Goodburn, C., & Knoerich, J. (2021). Importing Export Zones: processes and
impacts of replicating a Chinese model of urbanization in rural south India. Urban
Geography, online first.
Knoerich, J., Mouan, L., & Goodburn, C. (2021). Is China’s model of SEZ-led
development viable? A call for smart replication. Journal of Current Chinese
Affairs, 50(2), 248-262. https://doi.org/10.1177/1868102621993487
Knoerich, J. (2016). Has outward foreign direct investment contributed to the
development of the Chinese economy? Transnational corporations, 23(2), 1-
48. http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/diaeia2016d1_en.pdf

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1. Roundtable 15_06_2022 Dr Jan Kroenich - KCL China Lau Institute .pptx

  • 1. Chinese international investments and sustainability: Where do we stand? Jan Knoerich Lau China Institute, King’s College London UCL EISPS China Centre for Politics, Law and Culture Roundtable 15 June 2022
  • 2. Sustainable development “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 3 core elements: 1. economic growth 2. social inclusion 3. environmental protection Source: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/dev elopment-agenda/
  • 3. What is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)? • China’s initiative for the construction of primarily infrastructure and energy projects along the former Silk Road and beyond • Addresses the enormous infrastructure gap in Asia and the growth potential associated with connectivity • Quasi-institutionalised through the Belt and Road Forum, plus MoUs with individual countries • Primarily involves Chinese (state-owned) enterprises • Strong funding support from Chinese policy banks
  • 4. BRI focuses on project finance CONTRACTED INFRASTRUCTURE CONSTRUCTION MAY INVOLVE FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI)
  • 5. The BRI and Sustainability • The BRI mobilises aspects of China’s positive development experience. • The is contributing to development – of both China and the BRI countries – but there are some issues. • The BRI is not necessarily about sustainable development. • There’s a general ambition to make the BRI sustainable and “green” – the fulfilment of those ambitions remains a challenge. • Chinese investments are latecomers on sustainability but catching up.
  • 6. Thank you! Jan.Knoerich@kcl.ac.uk Relevant papers: Goodburn, C., & Knoerich, J. (2021). Importing Export Zones: processes and impacts of replicating a Chinese model of urbanization in rural south India. Urban Geography, online first. Knoerich, J., Mouan, L., & Goodburn, C. (2021). Is China’s model of SEZ-led development viable? A call for smart replication. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 50(2), 248-262. https://doi.org/10.1177/1868102621993487 Knoerich, J. (2016). Has outward foreign direct investment contributed to the development of the Chinese economy? Transnational corporations, 23(2), 1- 48. http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/diaeia2016d1_en.pdf