VII. Strengthening International Energy Cooperation Across the Board
China bases international cooperation on the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results while embracing the concept of green development. It is endeavoring to ensure energy security in an open environment, open its energy sector wider to the world, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, actively engage in global energy governance, guide global cooperation in climate change, and build a global community of shared future.
1. Opening the Energy Sector Further to the World
China is committed to a stable global energy market and is opening its energy sector wider to the world. It has greatly eased market access for foreign investment, and has built a market-based international business environment that respects the rule of law to facilitate free trade and investment. It has adopted pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list, reducing restrictions on access to the energy sector for foreign investment. It has lifted the restrictions for foreign investment to enter the sectors of coal, oil, gas, electric power (excluding nuclear power), and new energy. It is promoting the energy industry in pilot free trade zones such as Guangdong, Hubei, Chongqing and Hainan, and supports further opening up of the entire oil and gas industry in the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone. International energy companies such as ExxonMobil, GE, BP, EDF and SIEMENS are steadily expanding investment in China. Major foreign investment projects such as Tesla's Shanghai plant are well under way. Foreign-funded gas stations are spreading.
2. Promoting Energy Cooperation Among BRI Countries
China follows the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and pursues open, green and clean governance in its energy cooperation with BRI countries towards high-standard, people-centered and sustainable goals. It attempts to bring benefits to more countries and their people while maintaining its own development trajectory, and to create conditions favorable to further common development.
Pragmatic and mutually beneficial energy cooperation. China engages in extensive cooperation with over 100 countries and regions around the world in terms of energy trade, investment, industrial capacity, equipment, technology, and standard setting. The high standards of Chinese enterprises are much sought after by partner countries for their energy projects, which help to turn local resource advantages into development strengths. They will also drive technical progress in these countries, create more jobs, stimulate the economy, and improve people's lives. In this way China and its BRI partners will grow together by leveraging and incorporating their respective strengths. China builds cooperation with countries and large transnational corporations in the field of clean energy through third-party markets, to create an energy cooperation framework which is open, transparent, inclusive, and mutually beneficial. In 2019, China established Belt and Road energy partnerships with 30 countries.
A silk road with green energy. China is the largest renewable energy market and the largest clean energy equipment manufacturer in the world. It is actively working towards green and low-carbon global energy transition by engaging in extensive cooperation in renewable energy. Its efforts can be seen in cooperation projects such as the Kaleta hydropower project in Guinea, the Kaposvar PV power station project in Hungary, the Mozura wind park project in Montenegro, Noor Energy 1 – the CSP+PV solar power project in Dubai of the UAE, the Karot hydropower project and the first phase of the solar PV power project in the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park in Pakistan. The wide application of renewable energy technologies in the Chinese market is helping to reduce the cost of renewable energy across the globe and accelerate the green transition process.
Greater energy infrastructure connectivity. China is promoting transnational and cross-regional energy infrastructure connectivity, creating conditions for complementary cooperation and reciprocal trade in energy resources. A batch of landmark energy projects such as the China-Russia, China-Central Asia and China-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines have been completed and brought into operation. China has now connected its grid with the power grids of seven neighboring countries, giving a strong boost to energy infrastructure connectivity and realizing optimal allocation of energy resources on a larger scale, which facilitates economic cooperation within the region.
Wider global energy access. China actively implements the UN sustainable development goal of ensuring "access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all". It also takes an active part in global cooperation on expanding energy access. To improve energy access in partner countries and benefit ordinary people, China has employed multiple financing methods to develop electric power projects using grid-connected, microgrid, or off-grid solar systems according to local conditions, and donated clean cooking stoves to regions still using traditional cooking fuels.
3. Actively Participating in Global Energy Governance
As a staunch supporter of multilateralism, China builds bilateral and multilateral energy cooperation based on mutual benefit and win-win results. It supports the role of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and relevant cooperation mechanisms in global energy governance, promotes global energy market stability and supply security, and the green energy transition within the framework of international multilateral cooperation, and contributes ideas and solutions to the sustainable development of global energy.
Engagement in multilateral energy governance. China is an active participant in international energy cooperation under multilateral mechanisms such as the UN, G20, APEC and BRICS. It is making positive progress in joint research, releasing reports and founding agencies. China has set up intergovernmental energy cooperation mechanisms with over 90 countries and regions, and established ties with over 30 international organizations and multilateral mechanisms in the energy sector. Since 2012, China has become a member state of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an observer country to the Energy Charter Treaty, and an affiliate of the IEA.
A facilitator in regional energy cooperation. China has built regional energy cooperation platforms with ASEAN, the League of Arab States, African Union, and Central and Eastern Europe, and organized forums on clean energy at the East Asia Summit. It has also facilitated capacity building and cooperation on technological innovation and provided training for 18 countries in clean energy use and energy efficiency.