The People’s Map of Global China (to be launched by March 2021)
Two decades since the Going Out strategy and seven years since the announcement of the transcontinental Belt and Road Initiative, the presence of Chinese capital and labour is now truly global. To address the policy and intellectual challenges posed by China’s growing international engagements, the Global China Centre is now teaming up with the Made in China Journal, the Australian Centre on China in the World, Lund University, and a network of scholars and NGO practitioners across the world to develop an innovative new resource—the People’s Map of Global China.
The People’s Map will track China’s complex and rapidly changing global engagements through the BRI and beyond by engaging an equally global civil society. Using an interactive, open access and online ‘map’ format, we will invite and coordinate non-governmental organisations, journalists, trade unions, academics, and the public at large to provide updated and updatable information on various dimensions of Global China in their localities. The informational infrastructure of the Map consists of profiles of countries and projects, sortable by project parameters, Chinese companies involved, and their social, political, and environmental impacts. This bottom-up, collaborative initiative seeks to provide a necessary and democratic platform for the articulation of public and local voices often marginalised by political and business elites, national governments, or Northern media outlets. The information collected by this networked global civil society will be a useful resource for policy makers, academics, and international advocacy networks.
The People’s Map is not the first interactive online resource on Global China. What distinguishes this initiative from other efforts is our broader conception of China’s global impact. The parameters of our data collection go beyond macro indicators of loans and investment flows, aggregate growth rates, and trade statistics. We are equally concerned to track the human, environmental, social, and political impacts of Chinese projects as experienced, seen, documented, and debated at the grassroots. With input from our global network of civil society actors and organisations, the People’s Map will provide official data, local and international news reports, links to academic publications, blog entries by journalists, local residents, and stakeholders on the following impacts of Chinese engagements overseas:
Environment: debates and incidents of pollution, deforestation, biodiversity, wildlife;
Labour: labour rights, employment, skills transfer, unions, strikes, collective bargaining;
Land: land rights (customary and legal), change in land use, population relocation;
Finance: terms of loan, aid, private and state investment, corporations;
Politics: popular protests, elections, and elite politics;
Socioeconomic: local economy, migration, gender relation, cultural integration, or distributional conflicts.
The map itself is still under construction and will be uploaded shortly.