China in Burma: the increasing investment of Chinese multinational corporations in Burma’s hydropower, oil and gas, and mining sectors | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
janvier 2007
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

While increasing attention has been paid to Chinese attempts to secure natural resources overseas, the case of Burma has often been overlooked. This background provides a summary of the operations of Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) in Burma in the hydro, oil & gas, and mining sectors. The research finds that more than 26 Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) are involved in more than 62 hydropower, oil & gas, and mining projects in Burma. The report describes the activities of Chinese MNCs in Burma which include the following:

14 Chinese companies are involved in approximately 40 hydropower projects
the largest hydro project involving China is the Tasang Dam on the on the Salween River, which is
China currently has at least 17 onshore and offshore oil and gas projects in Burma, with investment from at least seven companies, including the three major Chinese oil and gas companies
Chinese MNCs have announced the construction of an oil – and a parallel natural gas – pipeline, which would stretch for 2,380 km from Burma’s Arakan coast to China’s southwestern cities of Kunming and/or Chongqing
at least five Chinese MNCs have been involved in five major mining projects over the past three years
the largest mining project is the Tagaung Taung nickel deposit which represents an investment of US$ 600 million.

The paper concludes that as China increases its position and influence in the world, the country has an opportunity to create a different model of natural resource extraction and investment. The report argues that the Government of China should keep a close control and regulate its own corporations operating overseas by ensuring that MNCs:

abide by domestic Chinese standards
increase transparency about operations 
undertake environmental and social impact assessment
mandate public participation
do not contribute to abuses by ending partnerships with the Burmese government.

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