As the world’s second largest economy and a major operator in resource extraction around the world, China is crucial to efforts to prevent the destruction of climate-critical forests and ensure good governance in the natural resources sector.

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China ranks among the world’s largest and most active importers and exporters of natural resources and processed commodities. This means that China has a crucial role to play in safeguarding the world’s natural resource supply chains and establishing international industry best practices.

China has also risen rapidly to be one of the world’s top three outgoing investors. As it implements its ambitious ‘belt and road initiative’, the governance, social and environmental risks of related overseas investment and trade must be better understood and addressed. 

China’s leaders have publicly declared that overseas investment activities should be undertaken responsibly. They must abide by principles including “working together on global ecological civilization construction and getting deeply involved in global environmental governance to come up with a worldwide solution for environmental protection and sustainable development, while guiding international cooperation to tackle climate change”. In addition, China has pledged a goal of “carbon neutrality”, with the intent of reaching zero net carbon emissions by 2060.

Global Witness is working in China to:

Since our China programme was established in 2011, our investigations have shone a light on the risks of China’s overseas investment and trade. These include reports on timber imports associated with illegal logging and deforestation in Papua New Guinea, The Solomon Islands and Cambodia; and mining investment and trade in Democratic Republic of Congo and Afghanistan.

Through our advocacy, we help to introduce international standards and best practices in China’s natural resource sector. Past work has focussed on responsible mineral supply chains, how to engage Chinese companies with the extractives industry transparency initiative (EITI), sustainable natural rubber, and preventing illegal timber imports.  We work with stakeholders including policy-makers, think tanks, industry associations and companies, and disseminate a wide range of Chinese language materials.

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For vacancies in this office, see the jobs listing. To keep up to date with the work of the China programme, sign up for our bilingual China newsletter, or follow us on Twitter at @GW_China

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