• Login
  • Register
  • Search

The Environmental Clauses in Chinese Investment Treaties

Ying Wei


This article empirically studies the environmental provisions in Chinese international investment treaties, discussing their characteristics and implications. It aims to explore how China deals with the conflict between the protection of the environment and international investment during its treaty practice. Among all of the 141 investment treaties signed by China, only 21 treaties contain environmental provisions, which can be divided into three types: preamble provisions, environmental cooperation provisions, and exception clauses. None of the adjudicated investment arbitration cases involving China has been decided based on environmental provisions. The challenges before specific environmental clauses play a significant role in an arbitral tribunal may include (1) the absence of abundant environmental clauses in investment treaties; (2) the limited effectiveness of the existing environmental clauses; (3) the restricted arbitral consent clauses signed by China; and (4) the amicable settlement preference in traditional Chinese culture.


Environmental Clause; Chinese Investment Treaties; International Investment

Full Text:


Included Database


Gordon, K. and J. Pohl (2011), "Environmental Concerns in International Investment Agreements: A Survey", OECD Working Papers on International Investment, No. 2011/01, OECD Publishing, Paris.

AsiaPhos Limited and Norwest Chemicals Pte Limited v. People’s Republic of China, ICSID Case No. ADM/21/1.

Norah Gallagher, Shan WH, Chinese Investment Treaties: Policies and Practice, Oxford University Press, 2008, pp35-40.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/fm.v8i5.10342