The image shows Chinese President Xi Jinping in front of the United Nations emblem in 2015
Photogtaph: John Taggart/Reuters/NTB Scanpix

China and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (CHINSDG)

2018 - 2019 (Completed)
Research project
What are Chinese priorities in relation to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and how do Chinese actors promote their interests and prospects for international cooperation?

China sees itself as both a major power and a developing country that is eager to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals – domestically and internationally. In this project, we focus on international engagements, and study, in particular, Chinese contributions and actors within development aid and assistance, peace operations, health and education and the environment. We look at this in connection to China’s overall and internationally oriented sustainability- and development politics, and we exemplify using specific country cases and conflicts where Chinese actors play important roles.

The responsible researchers are all affiliated to Norwegian research institutions, but the project includes a number of activities where researchers from China, various African countries and other international colleagues and professionals contribute with their expertise from China- and development related studies. In the final stages of the project, we discuss China’s sustainability politics with consideration to Norwegian interests and development policy traditions.

Funding program

The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.



China from careful participant to budding development partner

March 30, 2020

While the rest of the world is shutting down China is restarting its machinery after months of strict infection measures. China’s role as a development actor may grow.


Publication : Report

China in the Sustainable Development Agenda: Key Institutions for International Engagement

China has a large and expansive network of actors working on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) activities. This report maps the foremost key Chinese ...
Publication : Report

China’s role in the Sustainable Development Agenda: Considerations for Norway

China’s role as an international development actor is growing, with real and increasing potential to impact Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). On some ...
Publication : Report

China in the Sustainable Development Agenda: Key environmental issues and responses

China is dealing with very serious pollution levels and the unsustainable use of many natural resources. Environmental issues, concerning both air, ground, ...
Publication : Report

China in the Sustainable Development Agenda: Contributions to health and education

China is scaling up its investments in health and education, making significant contributions to the UN 2030 Agenda and related Sustainable Development ...
Publication : Report

From careful participant to budding partner: China in the Sustainable Development Agenda

China is an increasingly active player in the Sustainable Development Agenda. It has staked out a national Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) plan that stresses ...
Publication : Report

China's Evolving Approach to UN Peacekeeping in Africa

China’s new, assertive role in UN peacekeeping, especially in Africa, represents a significant shift in Beijing’s peace and security posture that is not ...

Project Manager

Peace operations  Economic growth  Human rights  Conflict  Governance  International economics  Climate  Development policy  Humanitarian issues  Foreign policy  International organizations  United Nations  Asia  Africa  AU  Fragile states

Elling Tjønneland, CMI

Mon 13 Jan 2020
Time: 08:30 Europe/Oslo
Location: NUPI

Breakfast seminar: China as a Development Actor in Africa

China’s role as an international development actor is growing. What is China hoping to achieve? How do African actors respond, and what are possible implications for Norwegian development policy?

Tue 5 Feb 2019
Time: 13:00 Europe/Oslo
Location: Studentsenteret, Universitetet i Bergen

Chinese and Nordic Priorities in the SDG 2030 Agenda

NUPI and CMI researchers meet in Bergen to discuss their ongoing work on Chinese and Nordic efforts towards the Sustainable Development Agenda. Erik Solheim, former leader of UN Environment, will comment and share insights from his vast development-related experiences.