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Multilateral Cooperation

Release Date :2019-09-18 10:12:02     Source:Belt and Road Energy Cooperation

1.Energy Access

Energy access is a crucial factor in achieving a better quality of life, overcoming poverty and improving global economic growth. People reiterate the commitment to take joint action, in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-Goal 7 to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable and modern energy for all. We want to build on G20 Leaders endorsement of the G20 Energy Access Action Plan: Voluntary Collaboration on Energy Access in 2015 by expanding our focus beyond Sub-Saharan Africa to include the Asia-Pacific region, where about 500 million people still do not have access to electricity.

2.Global Energy Governance

China employs multiple entities to enhance international energy cooperation, and global energy governance is discussed as a strategic approach to achieve this end. As the world’s largest energy consumer (23% of global energy consumption), largest energy producer (19% of global energy supply) and largest oil importer and carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter in 2014, China lies in the center of the world’s energy issues. The country is also at a turning point for transition to low carbon energy. Traditional thinking, focusing solely on bilateral energy cooperation, has recently shifted to a more proactive approach which features both bilateral and multilateral energy cooperation. Chinese leadership is serious about and engaged with global energy governance, as it will help to create a better external environment and give impetus to endeavors towards inclusive and sustainable development. The National Energy Administration (NEA) and other central government bodies are key participants in global energy governance, with other non-governmental players becoming increasingly interested.


China’s engagement in global energy governance has important implications for the country domestically as well as globally, particularly in light of its comprehensive energy sector reform to become more market-oriented. It appears that China’s domestic interests and the world’s collective interests in energy security, economic development and sustainable growth are becoming more congruent. China can immediately benefit from international best practices and experiences in planning and implementing reform, while the international community can benefit from China’s growing role in ensuring global energy security, promoting economic development and facilitating sustainable growth. There is a growing expectation that China will be increasingly and positively engaged in global energy governance discussions, reflecting China’s increasing awareness that its climate policies are in line with global objectives.


Broaden the IEA core mandate of energy security―in part to take into account the continued evolution of global oil markets, but also to factor in the rising role of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in global energy trade. The third pillar involves transforming the IEA into a global hub for clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, including strengthening the role of the IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programs, a network of 6000 energy technology experts worldwide.

The two-day Ministerial meeting was a unique opportunity for government ministers and industry leaders to discuss major energy-related issues, and the future of a world energy system transitioning in response to the threat of climate change. To discuss how this transformation will be realized in the context of an energy system that is increasingly defined by emerging economies, the 2015 IEA Ministerial meeting convened ministers and delegations from 29 IEA member countries and 9 partner countries―Brazil, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and Thailand―together with the European Union. Around 30 executives from the IEA Energy Business Council (EBC) also took part.


China has clearly shown its willingness to engage and understand that global energy governance has a major role to play in meeting common challenges head-on. Regarding its capability to engage and lead, China is engaged in a steep learning curve. There are several measures China should take to ensure its engagement and influence in global energy governance correspond to its economic and energy developments:

Adhere to the multilateral approach and work closely with the international community. In today’s globalized and connected world, no country can enjoy prosperity in isolation. This is especially true for a country with a huge size and economy, such as China. China benefits more in adhering to multilateral norms, sharing interests and concerns with international parties and acting as a positive and inclusive member in global energy governance.

Further increase influence in global energy governance. The rise of dynamic emerging countries as global economic and political actors, including China, will bring about changes worldwide. China’s role in global governance overall is likely to expand, so it is follows that it will also be more influential in global energy governance specifically. Chinese tradition holds that obtaining more say or voice (Huayuquan in the Chinese discourse system, directly translated as “the right to speech”) is vital to meeting the country’s own development needs. With continued engagement, China will arrive at a new and higher stage of global energy management and act as a constructive influencer.

Enhance capacity building and increase financial, technical and manpower investment. As President Xi Jinping said, “China should defend its own interests as well as the common interests of developing countries, and focus not only on its needs as it develops, but also on the expectations the international community places on China”. In response to the call of the international community, China will take on more responsibility and make greater contributions to global energy governance by providing more input in various ways. However, deficiencies still exist in China between reality and aspirations. These deficiencies may be overcome if China can dedicate more resources to areas such as energy security, data and statistics, and energy policy analysis, among others. Additional financial, technical and manpower investments are essential to improve China’s global energy governance engagement capabilities.

Integrate further into global energy markets and make more contributions to global energy security. As part of its energy reforms, China’s energy market will be further opened to foreign capital, and the Belt and Road Initiative will help China to be networked with neighboring transit countries. By being more integrated into global energy markets, China can synchronize its domestic energy security concerns with those of global energy security. The country can aid the global pursuit for collective energy security through further international energy cooperation, improving both regional and global market stability, as well as taking part in the global oil supply emergency system.

Take a leading role in global energy affairs and share Chinese experience in energy development. As the country embraces the vision of a global community, China can take a leading role and provide demonstration effects in areas of international interest, for instance in the international energy transition to a low-carbon economy, addressing climate change and energy access for all. This sharing of experiences and knowledge would demonstrate to the rest of the world China’s eagerness to engage in global energy governance.

3.The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of UN

Basic Information:

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was officially launched on January 1, 2016. By calling countries around the world to take actions, the new agenda is designed to work hard on the 17 goals for sustainable development in the following 15 years.

Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary General of UN, has demonstrated, “It is a common vision of human kind to fulfill the 17 goals for sustainable development and it is also a social contract which is agreed among leaders and citizens worldwide. It is not only a plan of action that will benefit human being and the earth, but also a blueprint for future success.”

On the historic summit conference held in September of 2015, 193 member states of UN reached a consensus on the goals for sustainable development, which are related to the demands of people from both developed countries and developing countries. In addition, it has been highlighted that no one would be left behind. The new agenda is wide-ranging and ambitious, including three aspects of the sustainable development: society, economy, environment and other essential aspects pertinent to peaceful, impartial and effective organizations. In addition to that, the agenda has confirmed the adoption of administrative approach, including financial resources, technological development and transfer, capability building and partnerships.

The UN will monitor and review the 17 goals for the sustainable development and 169 specific goals of the new agenda based on a whole set of global indicator standard. The goals are all compiled as part of the Annual Report on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Latest Progress:

On July 14, 2017, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Lajcak, the 72th President of UN General Assembly, and said, the Belt and Road Initiative was complementary to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and both could help each other forward.

Wang Yi added that the Belt and Road Initiative and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development actually shared a concept and a major direction, both of which were committed to promoting the connection of infrastructures, further expanding the regional cooperation, and realizing a common and green sustainable development. Both can be mutually beneficial and helpful. By sticking to the principle of negotiation, co-construction and sharing, China will work together with the international community to press ahead with the Belt and Road Initiative.

As Lajcak expressed, it has been one of the priority missions of UN General Assembly to propel the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China can serve as a powerful driving force for the global sustainable development and an exemplary case for the cooperation among nations and regions as well.

4.Multilateral Mechanisms

(1) Energy Cooperation under G20

With two-thirds of the world's population, G20 contributes about 90 percent of the world's total gross domestic product and 80 percent of the world's trade volume. Now, the G20 has become the premium forum of global economic cooperation.

G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting

The first G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting Held in Istanbul On October 1st and 2nd 2015.

On June 29th and 30th, 2016, the National Energy Administration of China held the G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting at Yanqi Lake International Conference Center in Beijing.

Relevant documents:

G20 Leaders’ Communique Hangzhou Summit;

Energy Cooperation under G20;

G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit;

G20 voluntary Action Plan on Renewable Energy;

G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan;

G20 Principles on Energy Collaboration.

Relevant case:

The G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting Held in Beijing

On June 29th and 30th, 2016, the National Energy Administration of China held the G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting at Yanqi Lake International Conference Center in Beijing. Officials from 27 countries and relevant international organizations were gathered in Beijing with the common goal to push forward global energy sustainable development. As one of the specialized ministerial meeting before the G20 Hangzhou Summit, this meeting was themed Shaping a Low-carbon, Smart and Sharing Energy Future. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli attended the opening ceremony and delivered speech. In the two-day event, participants had in-depth discussion and reached broad consensus on topics including opportunities and challenges on global energy development, energy technology innovation, demand and current policy on energy access.

The meeting adopted 4 outcome documents, including one major document, namely the G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting Beijing Communiqué, and 3 affiliated documents, namely Enhancing Energy Access in Asia and the Pacific: Key Challenges and G20 Voluntary Collaboration Action Plan, G20 Voluntary Action Plan on Renewable Energy and G20 Energy Efficiency Leading Program.

(2) China-LAS Clean Energy Training Center

In the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum held in 2014, President Xi Jinping proposed that China and the League of Arab States could establish an Arab Training Center of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. On that basis, China and the LAS reached a consensus in the Fourth China-Arab States Energy Cooperation Conference to establish the China-LAS Clean Energy Training Center. Nowadays, China and the LAS has reached an agreement on the texts of the MOU of establishing the training center and prepared to sign the above documents at proper time.

(3) CDCEP 16+1


The Strategic Partnership between the European Union (EU) and China is based on the ‘Trade and Cooperation Agreement’ signed in 1985 by the two parties and covers, a part from the external affairs, issues related to security and international challenges such as climate change and global economic governance. EU-China Association developed further through the creation in 2003 of a ‘Strategic and Comprehensive Partnership’ which set up later in 2013 a ‘Strategic Agenda EU-China 2020’.

In order to establish a sharing platform for policy coordination, information and technology interaction in the field of energy, leaders from China and Central and Eastern European countries issued the Suzhou Guidelines for Cooperation Between China and Central and Eastern European Countries during the Suzhou Summit in 2015, to embrace and support Romania’s initiative to establish a dialogue center for energy between China and Central and Eastern European Countries.

The proposal encourages academia, the business environment, institutions and government administrations in China and the 16 states of the Central and Eastern Europe to promote and exchange best practices in view of common development.


Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Republic of Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Estonia, Republic of Lithuania, Latvia, China.


The Center’s activity aims at securing a pool of information and sector-specific knowledge that would contribute to the regional and European process of policy-making with a view to supporting further development of energy-related cooperation among entities both within the ‘16+1’ format and among said entities and other parties and cooperation platforms or individual stakeholders.

While anchored in a purely economic and commercial rationale, enhancing the cooperation between China and the Central and South-Eastern Europe member states in the above-mentioned fields can ultimately contribute to achieving important objectives set for regional cooperation in the EU, the implementation of the Energy Union Strategy and climate change towards 2020-2035-2050.

Without replacing existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms and/or platforms, the Center seeks to complement the already agreed Agendas and Strategies and further reinforce the 16+1 cooperation by expanding knowledge of the acquis achieved in regulation, commercial and/or technological fields to non-EU countries in priority-areas like Renewable energiesmarts Grids,Energy EfficiencyClean coalNuclear energy.

Relevant case

On November 8, 2017, China-Central and Eastern Europe Energy Expo and Forum was held in the capital of Romania-Bucharest, and the representatives attending the meeting had discussions on the strengthening of energy cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe to jointly build a modern, efficient and sustainable global energy architecture and other topics, and adopted the China-Central and Eastern Europe Ministerial Statement on Joint Research of Energy Cooperation and White Paper on Energy Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe.

(4) EAS Clean Energy Forum


As an important part of the world politics and economy, Asia has significantly accelerated its regional economic integration since the Southeast Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. Regional economies have strategically built foreign exchange reserve funds, expanded bilateral currency swap scale, and established China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and other test fields of regional economic integration, to reduce regional trade cost and enhance economic competitiveness. East Asia is among the most economically vigorous regions in Asia and even in the world as well as an important energy consumption market and production base in the globe. In East Asia, the in-depth, pragmatic and close cooperation in the energy sector is of vital importance in furthering the process of regional economic integration.

East Asia Summit is a high-end platform for the dialogue of Asian regional economic cooperation concurrently held with the ASEAN Summit. With participants from ten ASEAN members plus China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) as well as five observers (the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and India), it aims to promote the East Asian integration process and achieve the objective of the East Asian Community. The Summit adopts the annual leader conference mechanism and is hosted by the then ASEAN rotating presidency.

[Photo/ /Premier Li Keqiang at the 19th China-ASEAN Leaders' Meeting]

In order to promote energy cooperation in East Asia and accelerate the optimization of regional energy structure and industrial development, Premier Li Keqiang and other representatives of the participating countries jointly signed The Joint Statement to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership at the 16th ASEAN-China (10+1) Summit in October 2013. The Joint Statement proposed initiatives to enhance regional cooperation in environment, mutual investment, development of Mekong River Basin and energy, and developed Action Plan for China-ASEAN New and Renewable Energy Cooperation.

In order to carry out the “Sustainable New Energy Development Initiative” and further implement the cooperation ideas of ASEAN leaders about sustainable development, the National Energy Administration and the ASEAN Centre for Energy jointly held the first East Asia Summit: Clean Energy Forum in August 2014 and the following second forum in Haikou, November 2015. Both of them have achieved good results.

In his speech at the 10th East ASEAN Summit in November 2016, Premier Li Keqiang stressed that China would continue to host the East Asia Summit: Clean Energy Forum well to promote relevant technical and experience exchanges. Thereafter, the exchange platform for East Asia clean energy cooperation was established in the form of East Asia Summit: Clean Energy Forum in China. For East Asia with quality clean energy resources and common energy development pursuit, “East Asia Summit: Clean Energy Forum” has gradually become an important regional platform to coordinate energy cooperation.

(5) China-Europe Energy Dialogue

The China-EU Energy Dialogue is an intergovernmental energy exchange and cooperation mechanism established between China and the EU based on The Memorandum of Understanding on China-Europe Energy and Transportation Strategic Dialogue signed during the Eighth China-EU Summit in September 2005 and it has been held for seven times up to now. Both sides mainly exchanged views on the energy development planning, the future supply and demand situation of energy, energy policy orientation, targets of energy saving and emission reduction, clean energy technologies and other issues of common concern, deepened the mutual understanding and reached a series of cooperation consensus and achievements.

During the Sixth China-EU Energy Dialogue in November 2013, both sides signed The China-Europe Joint Declaration on Energy, during the Eighteenth China-EU Summit in July 2016, China and the EU signed The Working Plan for Implementing the Roadmap of China-EU Energy Cooperation (2017-2018). During the Nineteenth China-EU Summit in June, 2017, both sides held the Seventh Energy Dialogue to conduct in-depth exchanges on issues including clean energy policy, energy transformation and future energy systems, as well as international and multilateral cooperation and signed The Work Plan of China-EU Energy Cooperation Roadmap (2017-2018).

Both sides agreed to focus on the cooperation in energy policy, formulation of energy efficiency standards, low-carbon energy technologies, renewable energy, energy regulation, energy networks and other areas. The above outcome documents build a framework for China and the EU to carry out energy cooperation, clarify the cooperation focus, design a path which is beneficial for China and the EU to further deepen the cooperation in the clean, low-carbon, sustainable energy development field to achieve more mutual benefits.

In accordance with The Working Plan for Implementing the Roadmap of China-EU Energy Cooperation (2017-2018), the National Energy Administration and DG ENER held the China-Europe Energy Policy Workshop, China-Europe Cooperation Symposium on Electricity Infrastructure and China-Europe Seminar on Renewable Energy in September (Beijing), October (Brussels) and December (Beijing) 2017. During the workshops, both parties made in-depth exchange and discussion about the energy policy and planning, energy efficiency, market supervision, renewable energy, regional power grid interconnection and interworking, etc. Through these workshops, both parties dug deeply the problems and challenges that our country faced during the development of energy, made full use of the European expert resources, and transformed the exchange results between China and the Europe into the means for solving the problems.



The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. Made up of 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members, with a geographical scope that stretches from Turkey in the west to the Pacific island nation of Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south, the region is home to 4.1 billion people, or two thirds of the world’s population. This makes ESCAP the most comprehensive of the United Nations five regional commissions, and the largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region with over 600 staff.

Established in 1947 with its headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, ESCAP works to overcome some of the region’s greatest challenges by providing results oriented projects, technical assistance and capacity building to member States in the following areas:

·Macroeconomic Policy, Poverty Reduction and Financing for Development

·Trade, Investment and Innovation


·Environment and Development

·Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction

·Social Development


·Subregional activities for development


ESCAP promotes rigorous analysis and peer learning in our core areas of work; translates these findings into policy dialogues and recommendations; and provides good development practices, knowledge sharing and technical assistance to member States in the implementation of these recommendations.

ESCAP uses its convening power to bring countries together to address issues through regional cooperation, including:

Issues that all or a group of countries in the region face, for which it is necessary to learn from each other;

Issues that benefit from regional or multi-country involvement;

Issues that are transboundary in nature, or that would benefit from collaborative inter-country approaches;

Issues that are of a sensitive or emerging nature and require further advocacy and negotiation.


Established in 1947 in Shanghai, China, as the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) to assist in post-war economic reconstruction, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) moved its headquarters to Bangkok in January 1949.

The name was changed in 1974 to reflect both the economic and social aspects of development and the geographic location of its member countries.

ESCAP's mandate was broadened in 1977 by the General Assembly. The regional commissions have since then been the main UN economic and social development centers within the five different regions.

Strengthened by 50 years of experience as a regional think-tank, ESCAP's activities are more and more concentrated on spreading the growth momentum from its more dynamic member countries to the rest of the region.

The ultimate challenge lies in bringing the region's 680 million poor into the economic mainstream, enabling everybody to achieve a better standard of life as envisaged in the Charter of the United Nations.

Relevant Cases

The first session of the ESCAP Energy Commission was held in Bangkok, Thailand in January 2017.

The 73rd Annual Meeting of ESCAP was held in Bangkok, Thailand in May 2017, on which it decided to establish the Working Group of Energy Interconnection and Interworking Experts. 

The first session of the Working Group of Energy Interconnection and Interworking Experts was held in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2017.

(7) SCO Energy Club


On September 13, 2013, the 13th meeting of Heads of State Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization was held in the capital of Kyrghyzstan, Bishkek. China’s president Xi Jinping delivered a speech entitled “To Carry Forward ‘Shanghai Spirit’, To Promote Mutual Development”. In the speech, Xi called for a need to set up an Energy Club, which can stabilize the relation between supply and demand to ensure the energy safety.

The Energy Club of SCO was founded in Moscow of Russia on December 6, 2013. Members of The Energy Club of SCO include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus and Turkey.

On December 12, 2014, the first meeting of Energy Club was held in Astana of Kazakhstan.

On November 22, 2016, the high-level working group conference of SCO Energy Club was held in Moscow of Russia. Turkey was selected as the rotating presidency of 2017 Energy Club.

(8) The Great Mekong River Sub-region Energy Cooperation

China had been dedicated to its cooperation with the other GMS countries in the field of electric power. Firstly, China has actively engaged in the various undertakings of the GMS Power Trade Coordination Committee to promote power cooperation among GMS countries. The first edition of the GMS General Plan for Power Development, which China has been advocating, was drawn up in 2008, and then revised in 2010. In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on the Road Map for Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregional Cross-border Power Tradingsigned by the governments of the six countries at the third GMS summit, China actively coordinated with the ADB in conducting the research on "Promotion of the Greater Mekong Subregional Power Trading and the Environmental Sustainable Development of GMS Power Infrastructure". China also provided active coordination to the ADB in making preparations for the Regional Coordination Center (RCC) for GMS Power Trading. Secondly, China has actively pursued power grid connectivity and power trading with neighboring countries and regions. In September 2004, via a 110kv power line from Hekou, Yunnan Province to Lao Cai in Vietnam, China officially began to export electricity to Vietnam. Today, China Southern Power Grid is transmitting electricity to the eight provinces in northern Vietnam via three 220kv power lines and four 110kv power lines. The grid delivered 5.53 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2010, up 24.9 percent over the previous year. By the end of August 2011, China had accumulatively supplied 20.9 billion kilowatt-hours of power to Vietnam. To solve the increasingly serious power shortage in northern Laos, China and Laos launched a cooperation project, under which China Southern Power Grid shall supply power to Laos through 115kv power lines. The project was put into operation in December 2009, and China Southern Power Grid has been supplying power to the four provinces in northern Laos. By the end of August 2011, China had accumulatively supplied 136 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the north of Laos. In October 2008, the six 100MW generation units of Shweli River Hydropower Station, currently the largest BOT hydropower project in Myanmar, were officially connected to China Southern Power Grid and began to supply power to China. In 2010, China Southern Power Grid bought a total of 1.72 billion kilowatt-hours of power from the Shweli River and the Dapein hydropower stations in Myanmar. By the end of August 2011, China had imported a total of 4.868 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity from Myanmar. In GMS power trade, China is no longer a pure electricity exporter. It has gradually become both a power exporter and a power importer. Through active promotion of optimal allocation of GMS power resources, it has effectively eased power shortage in some GMS countries and served the development of the power industry as well as economic and social progress in these countries. Thirdly, China has actively engaged in GMS cooperation in the development of power projects. As to grid projects, in June 2010, China Southern Power Grid and the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Laos signed the Memorandum of Understanding on China Southern Power Grid Company Limited's Investing in the National Power Grid of Laos. Now, the Chinese side has completed the compilation of the needed research reports for the project, including the feasibility study report, the concession pattern research report, and the project development agreement, and has officially submitted these documents to the relevant departments of the Laotian government. Upon approval of the Laotian government, China will start the development and construction of the project as soon as possible. In terms of the development of power source, a number of Chinese power companies, including China Power Investment Corporation, China Huaneng Group, China Datang Corporation, China Huadian Corporation, China Guodian Corporation, and Chongqing Three Gorges Water Conservancy and Electric Power Company, have developed some power generation projects in the other GMS countries, including the Mong Ton Project and the staged hydropower stations on the upper Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.

(It’s arranged and compiled according to relevant materials.)


Editor: Amber


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