The Boston University Global Development Policy (GDP) Center manages a suite of five interactive public databases that collectively track hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese loans and investment to a variety of sectors, including energy and other infrastructure development. The Center manages and updates these databases in a bid to provide transparent information to aid research, education, policymaking, journalism and accountability with regards to China’s overseas development finance and projects around the world.
Publishing this data has helped journalists analyze trends and work to understand China’s overseas economic activities. As a resource, these data projects can help stakeholders discover more about China’s overseas lending in an interactive and engaging way.
The Webinar assesses the status of China’s overseas lending, showcases how reporters can use data to analyze the impacts of Chinese development projects and tell unique stories. And what spatial analysis of Chinese development projects reveals about impacts on sensitive territories. Furthermore in the discussion, GDP Center researchers demonstrate how to use the following databases and share key findings from the latest updates:
The China’s Overseas Development Finance Database is the first global, harmonized, validated and geolocated record of Chinese overseas development finance. Covering the years 2008-2021, the database includes 1,099 loan commitments from China’s two main development finance institutions (DFIs), the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank of China (CHEXIM) to 100 governments, inter-governmental bodies, majority state-owned entities and minority state-owned entities with sovereign guarantees, totaling nearly half a trillion dollars, at $498 billion, from 2008-2021. The proximity of projects to three types of ecologically sensitive territories, Indigenous peoples’ lands, national protected areas and critical habitats, is also mapped.
The Chinese Loans to Africa (CLA) Database is an interactive data project tracking loan commitments from Chinese development finance institutions (DFIs), commercial banks, government entities, companies and other financiers to African governments and state-owned enterprises. The CLA Database estimates Chinese financiers signed 1,188 loan commitments worth $160 billion with African governments and their state-owned enterprises between 2000-2020.
The China’s Global Energy Finance (CGEF) Database is an interactive data project that exhibits financing for global energy projects from China’s development finance institutions (DFIs). From 2000-2021, Chinese DFIs provided 331 loans in energy sector financing worth $234.6 billion to 68 foreign governments.
Bongiwe Tutu: Project Coordinator, Africa-China Reporting Project, Wits Centre for Journalism, University of the Witwatersrand
Maureen Heydt: Assistant Director, Communications and Outreach, Boston University Global Development Policy Center
Rebecca Ray: Senior Academic Researcher, Boston University Global Development Policy Center
Oyintarelado (Tarela) Moses, Data Analyst and Database Manager, Global China Initiative, Boston University Global Development Policy Center
Cecilia Springer, Assistant Director, Global China Initiative, Boston University Global Development Policy Center
WATCH: Webinar on Interpreting Data and Data Sources: Tracking China’s Overseas Lending, Development Finance and Global Energy Finance Databases