«A research undertaking by the Centre for Chinese Studies, prepared for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) & Revenue Watch ...»
The engagement strategy, designed to take place over an eight month period, has three main
The inclusion of a research component will promote a sense of control and ownership of the process amongst Chinese stakeholders, greatly improve their understanding of transparency and the EITI, and empower the EITI with the knowledge and capacity to effectively engage with relevant Chinese stakeholders.
3.6.1 Component One: Preliminary Seminar in Beijing, PRC
Component One would consist of a seminar in Beijing, China, where key Chinese stakeholders would be informed of EITI and its objectives. The research carried out by the CCS in 2008 shows that it is imperative to inform Chinese stakeholders on transparency, CSR and the principles of EITI in their own language. The goal of this ﬁrst component would therefore be to accurately inform key Chinese ofﬁcials of EITI in Mandarin Chinese. During the seminar, a Chinese moderator would be used for the discussions. Simultaneous interpretation would be provided for non-Chinese speaking presenters and all printed information material would be made readily available in Mandarin Chinese. The participants would comprise a small group of 20-30 key stakeholders including Chinese government policy makers, academics and representatives from the Chinese business sector.
The CCS has already made initial contact with senior representatives of the NDRC Energy Research Bureau and the China Petroleum University and tentative interest in participating in such a seminar has been expressed by these institutions. Moreover, targeted sectors of the domestic Chinese media would also be engaged to raise the proﬁle of the seminar and awareness of EITI. Key individuals within the news and media industry would also be invited to the event where a set of strategic interviews would be arranged.
Since the EITI is a non-governmental organisation, it is recommended that government ofﬁcials from countries supporting EITI participate in these seminars to add weight and formalise the engagement with their Chinese counterparts.
3.6.2 Component Two: Research Project on Transparency by Chinese Academics The aim of Component Two would be to initiate Chinese participation in the EITI process and foster a sense of genuine ownership and legitimacy of these issues within the Chinese stakeholder community. This is of great importance since it was identiﬁed during CCS’ research in Africa and China during 2008 that there is a strong sentiment among many Chinese stakeholders that they have been singled out as a particular challenge by EITI and other CSR initiatives.
The process of initiating a sentiment of inclusion of the EITI process among Chinese stakeholders would be addressed through a research project involving a team of Chinese researchers. Following the ﬁrst seminar, four distinguished Chinese research specialists could be commissioned to research and compile a report in Mandarin Chinese exploring how transparency, CSR and EITI are perceived from a Chinese perspective, both in terms of advantages and potential challenges. The research methodology used to produce these reports would be qualitative in nature. Initial consultation of existing material on the area would be followed by interviews with relevant stakeholders. The ﬁnal reports would be translated into English, French and possibly Portuguese from Mandarin Chinese.
It is important to note that both the ﬁnal report produced and the research process in itself will be of equal signiﬁcance to achieving the aim of this component. The ﬁnal report will be disseminated to a wider audience during Component Three and provide important insights into Chinese perceptions of the EITI process that can be used to guide the design of further outreach programs to engage Chinese stakeholders. The research process in itself is important since it will give the Chinese researchers and respondents an opportunity to contribute to the EITI process in China.
3.6.3 Component Three: Launch of Chinese Research Report on Transparency in Beijing, PRC Component Three will consist of a seminar in Beijing, China, where the report produced during Component Two is launched. The aim of the launch, which will take place as an open forum, is to present the ﬁndings of the report to Chinese policy makers. At this stage, through the inclusion of Chinese researchers, it is anticipated that the process will have gained traction, and could therefore be launched to a broader audience on a larger scale. However, it is important to remember that at this point, the ideas of CSR and EITI will still be new for many of the participants of this seminar. It is therefore imperative to retain the culturally sensitive modus operandi of the introductory seminar, using a Chinese moderator for discussions and providing simultaneous interpretation for non-Chinese speaking presenters as well as having hard copies of the information material available in Mandarin Chinese.
Senior Chinese policy makers, corporate and academic representatives in addition to top ofﬁcials from established multinational companies operating in the relevant African countries will be invited to participate. During the seminar, the report produced during Component Two will serve as a starting point for discussions to identify ways for Chinese and other actors operating in Africa to improve communication and collaboration in order to work together more effectively to implement EITI.
3.7 Concluding remarks This report has outlined key actors and challenges in China’s energy policy formulation process and discussed perceptions- and implementation of EITI in this context. The report’s main suggestion is that there are two main challenges for the EITI to overcome when engaging in Beijing: ﬁrst, lack of awareness of EITI, and second, perceptions of EITI as a ‘Western NGO initiative’. Also, as outlined in the report, China’s energy policy formulation is fragmented and continues to face a range of challenges. The complexities in terms of dynamics between the relevant government institutions at hand compound engagement efforts. However, it is believed that difﬁculties in conducting advocacy work in Beijing regarding EITI do mainly not emanate from the intricacies of the Chinese energy policy formulation process. Instead, it is mostly due to protocol challenges stemming from widely held perceptions of EITI as an NGO.
There are a great deal of common interests between EITI’s agenda and the Chinese government and CPC’s current priority areas, notably regarding corruption, transparency in ﬁnancial transactions and the need for international engagement on the development and implementation of energy policy as its energy industry grows and becomes increasingly globalized. However, as the Chinese policy formulation process is considered to have very particular historical background, logic and implementation mechanisms, the Chinese leadership remains somehow wary of external intervention that might restrain development or otherwise prove detrimental.
Objective discussion, opinions and suggestions are however welcome. Certain institutions and sections of China’s energy industry will be considerably more receptive than others and an improved understanding of the complex dynamics involved will be the ﬁrst step towards meaningful engagement on international cooperation.
Endnotes Constantin, Christian (2007). “Understanding China’s Energy Security” in World Political Science Review, Article 2, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp. 4, 16.
For more information about the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, please refer to www.eiti.org Zhang, Ye (2003). “China’s Emerging Civil Society.” Brookings Institute, June. Page 2. Available on http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2003/08china_ye/ye2003.pdf McWilliams, Abagail; Siegel, Donald S. and Wright, Patrick M. (2006). “Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategic Implications” in Journal of Management Studies, Issue 43:1, January, page 1.
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Ibid. Page 13.
People’s Daily (2005). “CPC Central Committee Approves Proposals for Formulating 11th Fiveyear Plan.” Published 11-10-2005. The Preamble of the Outline reads as follows: “The Outline of the 11th Five-Years Plan for National economic and Social Development was formulated in accordance with the CPC Proposals for Formulating the 11th Five-Year Plans for National Economic and Social Development.” For a brief outline of the policy, please refer to the NDRC’s website at http://en.ndrc.gov.cn/hot/
t20060529_71334.htm For example:
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For extensive list of publications, see http://sis.ruc.edu.cn/teacher/resume/zha_e.pdf
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Constantin, Christian (2007). Op. cit.
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Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang.
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