Chinese Human Rights Guidance on Minerals Sourcing: Building Soft Power

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Abstract

China’s economic engagement in Africa has been subject to criticism on social and environmental fronts. This analysis examines two sets of guidelines launched by the government-related China
Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals. Aiming to promote responsible investment in the minerals sector and due diligence to ensure socially responsible sourcing of minerals with a
particular focus on human rights, the guidelines refer to international human rights standards and are designed to be consistent with guidance issued by the OECD. The article discusses the Chinese guidelines as responses to the international critique and concludes they are elements of China’s soft-power efforts meant to enhance the country’s reputation as a responsible actor on the global stage. The analysis comes from the perspective of China’s deployment of state-driven corporate social responsibility (CSR), its complex relationship with international human rights, and its engagement with the international business and human rights (BHR) regime.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Current Chinese Affairs
Volume46
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)135–154
Number of pages20
ISSN0341-6631
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • China
  • Business impact in human rights
  • Minerals sector investment and sourcing
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Conflict minerals
  • Soft law

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