The Global China Initiative (GCI) examines the extent to which Chinese overseas economic activity and engagement with international institutions fosters a more stable, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable world economy.

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China has increased the amount of overseas development finance by an order of magnitude relative to the development finance available in the world economy from the World Bank and its Western counterparts. China has recently created or expanded four development finance institutions (DFIs). These new DFI’s are the China Development Bank (CDB), the Export-Import Bank of China (CHEXIM), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the New Development Bank (NDB). What is more, China has helped establish a family of funds and consortia across the world also committed to global development finance as well.

China’s flagship global initiative is the Belt & Road Initiative, which is poised to leverage $1 trillion to $4 trillion in infrastructure, energy, and regional integration financing across more than 68 countries in a number of continents –in an effort to revive and modernize the original Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road trading routes.

Such a stepwise increase in global development finance is a tremendous opportunity for a global economy in need of structural transformation toward lower carbon and more socially inclusive development. Not only will such financing address the glaring gap needed to make such a transformation, it may also create healthy competition to Western-backed development finance institutions. That said, the surge in global development finance led by China will also pose new challenges for host country economies, local communities, China, and the world at large.

Through research, policy dialogue, and partnerships, GCI’s policy oriented research will work with Chinese and host country partners to enable China’s DFIs to maximize the benefits and minimize the social and environmental risks associated with Chinese development finance.

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