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China: Statement by 265 CSOs urges COVID-19 relief fund for BRI to only consider projects meeting criteria safeguarding people's rights and environment

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in February 2020, China’s Ministry of Commerce and the China Development Bank jointly issued a notice creating a mechanism for directing finance to Belt and Road projects that have been impacted by COVID-19, stating that projects that are “high quality”, “legally compliant” and have “controllable risks” can qualify to receive COVID-19 related financial relief.

In April 2020, 265 civil society groups issued a joint statement, urging the Chinese government to ensure that financial relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic only flows to high quality Belt and Road projects that meet “stringent criteria aimed at protecting people and safeguarding the environment” and setting out 10 specific principles that could help ensure that projects are “high quality”.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the China Development Bank, Export-Import Bank of China, Bank of China, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China to respond to the joint statement; none of these banks has responded.

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China Development Bank

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China Exim

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Bank of China

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Industrial & Commercial Bank of China

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China Construction Bank

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Agricultural Bank of China

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