Published 8 January 2021
China has been a predominant investor in Africa for many years and contributes substantially to facilitating economic development and infrastructure projects in many African states. Yet, it is uncertain, to what extent the existing Africa-China BITs are sufficiently equipped to reconcile the promotion and protection of Chinese investment and the implementation of the Agenda 2063 aspirations to achieve sustainable development. The article explores the current Africa-China BIT-landscape that not only provides the legal framework for Chinese investment in Africa but also for the sustainability measures of African host states affecting foreign investors. It analyzes the substantive provisions in the traditional Africa-China BITs that possibly threaten the implementation of sustainability policies. Subsequently, it looks at the most recent publicly available Africa-China BIT, ie the BIT China-Tanzania (2013), which reflects the African BIT reform approaches to strengthen sustainable development. It examines to what extent the BIT China-Tanzania can overcome the challenges of the traditional Africa-China BITs for sustainability measures and may serve as a model for future reforms of the Africa-China BIT landscape. Finally, the article will address the chances and hurdles of the Africa-China BIT reform process and point out the role the AU may play in this respect.
This paper will be part of the TDM Special Issue on "The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)". More information here www.transnational-dispute-management.com/news.asp?key=1809