Global China Databases

The Global China Initiative (GCI) manages a suite of five interactive public databases that collectively track hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese loans and investment to a variety of sectors, including energy and other infrastructure development. GCI manages and updates these databases in a bid to provide transparent information to aid research, education, policymaking, journalism and accountability with regards to China’s overseas development finance and projects around the world.

Tracking these loans has given GCI researchers the ability to study trends and work to understand China’s overseas economic activities. One of the GDP Center’s core values is to create dialogue based on empirical research, hence why these databases are made open and accessible to the public. As a resource, these data projects can help stakeholders discover more about China’s overseas lending in an interactive and engaging way.

These databases are open knowledge products and we welcome additions and corrections; reach us at gdp@bu.edu.

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China’s Overseas Development Finance Database

The China’s Overseas Development Finance (CODF) Database is the first global, harmonized, validated and geolocated record of Chinese overseas development finance from 2008-2019. The dataset includes equal time before and after the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013 and all loans to governments, inter-governmental bodies and state-owned entities from China’s two policy banks with overseas lending: China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank of China. The interactive database tracks 858 loans, 615 with specific geographic footprints, and an additional 243 without footprints, detailing each project’s lender, year, amount, sector and length in kilometers, where applicable. It also allows users to examine the geolocation of China’s overseas development projects and their proximity to Indigenous peoples’ lands, critical habitats and national protected areas. The CODF Database shows Chinese policy banks provided close to half a trillion dollars in development finance to foreign governments from 2008—2019, nearly matching the World Bank’s lending in the same period.

Ray, Rebecca, Kevin P. Gallagher, William Kring, Joshua Pitts, and B. Alexander Simmons. “Geolocated Dataset of Chinese Overseas Development Finance.” Boston, MA: Boston University Global Development Policy Center. Online database. doi: 10.17605/OSF.IO/7WUXV.

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Chinese Loans to Africa

The Chinese Loans to Africa (CLA) Database is an interactive data project tracking loan commitments from Chinese policy and commercial banks, government entities, companies and other financiers to African governments and state-owned enterprises.

The CLA Database was started by the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-CARI). As of March 29, 2021, the CLA Database is managed by the Boston University Global Development Policy (GDP) Center.

Starting in 2007, researchers have collected, cleaned and analyzed publicly available data to create a database on Chinese lending to Africa. The data sources include official government documents, contractor websites, fieldwork, interviews and media sources.

The CLA Database estimates Chinese financiers signed 1,188 loan commitments worth $160 billion with African governments and their state-owned enterprises between 2000 and 2020. The figures are not equivalent to African government debt, as the database does not track disbursement or repayment.

Suggested citation: Boston University Global Development Policy Center. 2022. Chinese Loans to Africa Database. Retrieved from http://bu.edu/gdp/chinese-loans-to-africa-database.

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China-Latin America Finance Database

The China-Latin America Finance (CLAF) Database is an interactive data project tracking loans from China’s two global policy banks, the China Development Bank (CDB) and the China Export-Import Bank (CHEXIM), to Latin American and Caribbean governments and state-owned enterprises. The database is jointly managed by the Boston University Global Development Policy Center and the Inter-American Dialogue.

For the second year in a row, the CLAF Database recorded no new overseas finance commitments from China to Latin American governments or state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in 2021 by CDB or CHEXIM.

 

Suggested citation: Gallagher, Kevin P. and Margaret Myers (2022) “China-Latin America Finance Database,” Washington: Inter-American Dialogue.

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China’s Global Energy Finance Database

The China’s Global Energy Finance (CGEF) Database is an interactive data project that exhibits financing for global energy projects by China’s two global policy banks—the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China.

China’s global policy banks do not currently publish these data at a disaggregated level. For this project, the Boston University Global Development Policy Center combined its estimates from the China-Latin America Finance Database with the Chinese Loans to Africa Database to estimate levels of China’s global energy finance.

In 2021, China’s policy banks provided no new energy finance commitments to foreign governments for the first time since the start of the 21st century. Since 2000, Chinese policy banks provided 331 loans in energy sector financing worth $234.6 billion to 68 foreign governments. 

Suggested citation: Boston University Global Development Policy Center. 2022. China’s Global Energy Finance Database. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/cgef.

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China’s Global Power Database

The China’s Global Power (CGP) Database tracks global power plants outside of China financed by Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) and/or China’s two global policy banks, the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China. The database also tracks and displays the deal types, Chinese investors and/or lenders, percentage of ownership by investor, amount of capacity in megawatts, type of technology, operating status and the estimated annual CO2 emissions of the power plants.

As of mid-2022, Chinese capital has supported 648 power plants overseas, representing 1,423 individual power generating units providing a total of 171.6 GW of power generation capacity. Among these power plants, Chinese capital participation includes FDI in the form of greenfield investments or mergers and acquisitions and debt finance.

Suggested citation: Boston University Global Development Policy Center. 2022. China’s Global Power Database. Retrieved from https://www.bu.edu/cgp/.

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China Overseas Finance Inventory Database

The China Overseas Finance Inventory (COFI) Database is a comprehensive database covering Chinese equity and debt investments in the power-generation sector across 76 Belt and Road Initiative countries. It consolidates nine different source databases to include the transaction details of 473 investments in 430 power plants. The database is a collaboration between the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, the Inter-American Dialogue, the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University and World Resources Institute.

Key data points for financial transactions in COFI include the financial instrument (equity or debt), investor name, amount and financial close year. Key technical characteristics tracked for projects in COFI include name, installed capacity, commissioning year, country and primary fuel type.

The database is available for download through Open Data Portal.

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