The study of China’s international financial flows shows that it has become a major player in international financing. With the Belt and Road Initiative, China has promoted a narrative of development based primarily on economic growth, interconnectedness through transport infrastructure, and commercial trade. At the Second Belt and Road Forum in April 2019, the Chinese authorities declared their wish to focus on issues related to financial and environmental sustainability, planning a move towards a “higher quality” Belt and Road Initiative. This discourse provides an opportunity for increased dialogue and greater cooperation with other actors involved in development finance, although this presupposes a convergence in the financial, social, and environmental practices of Chinese and non-Chinese financial actors. This article makes a number of recommendations for creating these new convergences, and offers some approaches to a common framework for sustainable finance and development.
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