GEG WP 2015/110 Civil Regulation and Chinese Resource Investment in Myanmar and Vietnam - Pichamon Yeophantong

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Abstract

This paper examines the localized resistance that has emerged in response to major Chinese investment schemes in mainland Southeast Asia’s extractive industries. Focusing on two controversial Chinese-backed resource projects in Myanmar and Vietnam, it posits that incipient advocacy networks have contributed in each case to broader processes of civil regulation, whereby target state and corporate actors are pressured into shouldering greater corporate responsibility for their actions. Given the high levels of state restrictiveness that characterize both Vietnam and Myanmar, this is a striking development. Civil regulation—as exercised through both formal and informal channels of influence—thus stands to have profound implications not only for corporate and investment practices within this industrializing region, but also for sustainable resource governance.