China’s economic diplomacy has encouraged the use of special economic zones (SEZs) abroad. These areas of specialized regulation and incentives are aimed at attracting foreign investment. However, China’s emphasis on SEZs to promote quick economic growth has raised questions about whether China is sacrificing sustainable development for speed.
Sustainable development is the practice of providing for current demand without sacrificing the needs of future generations. In the past decade, China has proven that it has the capacity to deploy sustainable practices domestically. In this analysis, we provide a framework for assessing whether these best practices are successfully being exported to its overseas SEZ projects.