China’s Coercive Environmentalism Revisited: Climate Governance, Zero Covid and the Belt and Road

  • Judith Shapiro (Author)
  • Yifei Li (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


It has been more than two years since the publication of our jointly written book, China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet. Since then, multiple developments have confirmed and strengthened our core thesis that China’s “ecological civilisation” framework and programmes serve not only to achieve lower carbon and other environmental goals but also to strengthen the hand of the state over individuals and communities – and even to help export the state’s model of authoritarian governance. This short essay is intended to update this argument and to provide an overview of recent developments with respect to China’s carbon policies, pandemic response and international investment on the Belt and Road.


China, ecological civilisation, zero Covid, Belt and Road, climate governance, comment, current debate