Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (10): 1942-1953.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201810009

• Industrial Layout and Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial-temporal evolution pattern and mechanism of China's construction of overseas hydropower stations

XUE Desheng(),WAN Yawen,YANG Ren   

  1. Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2017-07-12 Online:2018-10-25 Published:2018-10-25
  • Supported by:
    International Joint Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41320104001;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41871177;Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, No.17lgjc04


Over the last decades, Chinese enterprises have emerged as the most active builders and investors in worldwide hydropower development. These international economic activities result from China's progressive reforms in both economic and political arenas. Chinese construction of overseas hydropower stations includes foreign aid, foreign trade and foreign investments. This article analyzes the spatial-temporal evolution pattern and mechanism of Chinese-constructed hydropower stations abroad, and reveals the major influencing factors since the year 2000. The major research findings are presented as follows. Firstly, at the global scale, the numbers, ways of construction, and spatial patterns of Chinese-constructed hydropower stations are varied at different stages. Secondly, the state has played a leading role in the construction of Chinese overseas hydropower stations in carrying out its strategy in the past four stages: (a) China directly designated the departments to aiding between 1955 and 1981. (b) The state controlled foreign-aid capital outflows, and encouraged state-owned enterprises to sign contracts with foreign companies, while the projects were supported financially by Western banks from 1982 to 2000. (c) The state has decentralized its power to transgovernmental policy networks and stimulated state-owned enterprises to compete in investment and contracting projects, while the enterprises sought financial support from Chinese banks, such as the Export-Import Bank of China between 2001 and 2009. (d) Based on national initiatives such as the Belt and Road, the state designed a Chinese solution to pursue common prosperity and development and integrated state-owned enterprises to adopt the strategy of associated competition, while the projects began to be supported financially by multilateral institutions promoted by China after 2010. And thirdly, the impact factors on the Chinese-constructed overseas hydropower stations since 2000 are the relations of political and economic diplomacy between China and the host countries, the proportion of the population below the poverty line, the condition of electricity supply, the amount of received aid, the level of industrial growth and market base of the host country.

Key words: spatial-temporal patterns and mechanism, overseas hydropower stations, infrastructure, China