Conference: China, Sustainable Development and Economic Policy-Making

River Boat

This conference brings together globally renowned experts, representing the perspectives of law, economics, environmental protection and climate change studies, political sciences and cultural studies to discuss pressing issues concerning China's development.

Significant growth of the Chinese economy in the last three decades, combined with a wide range of innovative reforms and initiatives has led to the country assuming the position of a key global power. In recent years China has achieved the status of the second largest economy of the world and adopted highly deliberate strategies affecting international and regional trade and investment partners. The scale of this involvement can be seen in such ventures as, inter alia, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, with China-driven infrastructure and investment projects spanned over three continents), the country’s engagement in mega-regional trade agreements such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), or in the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

As the economic growth subsides, China is increasingly hard-pressed to seek balance between invigorating the economy and safeguarding public goods related to the society and natural environment. Pitfalls of rapid development have included deterioration of natural environment and securing steady and renewable energy supplies. These challenges have been addressed by China at the domestic, as well as at the international level. The resulting policies, both domestic and international, are of direct, paramount significance to China’s trade and investment partners, including Nordic stakeholders. They are also shaped in close connection with multilateral developments, in particular through implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

The conference will analyze these complex phenomena and their significance for Nordic partners from the private, as well as public sector. It will discuss to what extent global sustainability objectives can be successfully reconciled with stimulating economic development. It will also explore how China takes part in the global policy-making on matters of sustainable development, environment, and health and how does it engage with international economic law in a broader sense to realize these goals. It will explore China’s domestic policies and priorities, such as building the ecological civilization, as proclaimed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, and as adopted in an amendment to China’s Constitution in 2018. The conference will investigate these policies as responses to current challenges and as outcomes of the Chinese culture and historical tradition. It will also examine how they shape the country’s global outlook, and what response does it prompt from China’s trade and investment partners, such as the EU, the US, and other parties, including developing countries.

To address these issues, the event will bring together globally renowned experts, representing the perspectives of law, economics, environmental protection and climate change studies, political sciences and cultural studies. Specific topics will be discussed at the following, dedicated sessions.

  • China and Sustainable Development as a Global Economic Policy
  • Chinese Concept of Ecological Civilization and Sustainable Development
  • Energy, Climate Change, and Health
  • Foreign Investment Protection, Sustainable Development and China
  • China and the Authority of International Economic Courts and Tribunals
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals and Challenges for Developing Countries Hosting Chinese Investments
  • Food Safety Governance and Sustainable Development

Julien Chaisse, Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Vivienne Bath, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney
Alex Wang, Professor, UCLA School of Law
Yuejiao Zhang, Professor, School of Law, Tsinghua University & Shantou University, Member of the Expert Committee of China International Commercial Court (CICC), Former Member of the Appellate Body, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Time: 10-11 April 2019.

Place: Conference/flex room, ground floor, room 8A-0-57, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S.

Organizer: iCourts, the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre of Excellence for International Courts, The Faculty of Law, with the support of Renmin University of China, Carlsberg Foundation, Dreyers Fond and