Policies Guiding and Regulating Chinese Dam-building Companies

Chinese overseas dams should be built in accordance with the laws of host countries. The Chinese government has made it clear on a number of occasions that it expects Chinese companies to abide by and respect local laws. In addition to local laws, Chinese company standards and policies - as well as any Chinese government standards - may increase the standards by which Chinese dam projects are planned, developed and operated. Chinese financiers also apply their own standards when considering whether to approve a loan to support an overseas dam. In some cases, Chinese domestic law may be relevant. Several Chinese hydropower companies have committed to using Chinese domestic standards where host country laws and standards are weaker, such as in Burma, where until recently, there was no requirement to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), although Sinohydro and China Power Investment have conducted EIAs for their respective projects.

This section outlines Chinese policies on overseas dam building and environmental guidelines on Chinese overseas investments that might be applied to overseas dam projects, and the rules and regulations guiding domestic dam building. Excerpts from important laws and policies can be found in Appendix 2.