Bingyu (Gloria) Liu

Research Topic

The China Problem in Africa’s Environmental Governance: A Multi-Level Regulatory Analysis of Chinese Multinationals’ Behaviour and Motivation

Research Group

International Environmental Law, Environmental Law

Research Description

China has rapidly become one of the world’s biggest overseas investors, encouraging more multinational enterprises to go abroad. Chinese multinational investment is likely to increase exponentially in Africa through “South and South Cooperation”, and “One Belt, One Road” initiatives, however, the environmental impacts of these investments have not yet been comprehensively studied. Notably, there is a dearth of empirical research on the environmental impact of Chinese multinationals’ infrastructure building and resource extraction. My research aims to empirically analyze the environmental performance of Chinese multinationals engaging in infrastructure building and natural resource extraction in Kenya and South Africa, investigating strategies for more sustainable development. The improvement of Chinese multinationals’ environmental performance will in turn help promote sustainable investments in African countries, improve relations between African peoples and foreign investors, and eventually bring about environmental justice.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

The graduate program at the Peter A. Allard School of Law has strong academic and professional collaborations with external academic and research institutions from all over the world. Through the law school's encouragement and support I have had the opportunity to present at several international academic conferences, and build a global academic network of environmental law experts. Additionally, the faculty has encouraged me to conduct my PhD research with the headquarters of the United Nations Environmental Programme in Nairobi, Kenya. This research internship will give me the chance to work directly with  career professionals and practitioners, enabling me to share my research with key industry players and the larger public. This serves my career goal of becoming a researcher and legal consusltant in diplomacy and public policy.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I have established a strong academic and professional grounding through the guidance I have received from the Peter A. Allard School of Law, the Institute of Asian Research, and through the support of St. John’s College (SJC) and the UBC Graduate Student Society (GSS). Living on campus at SJC has exposed me to a network of fellow graduate students co-existing in a highly multicultural learning environment, and serving as the GSS Vice President External Relations has given me an invaluable insight into municipal, provincial and federal government policymaking processes.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC offers a dynamic and interdisplinary academic environment that allows me to further explore my research interests. I value the opportunities to benefit from the abundant research resources and expertise available at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, the Institute of Asian Research, and the Liu Institute for Global Affairs.

 

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to pursue a doctoral degree to continue my research interests in China-Africa economic relations and the accompanying environmental impacts of Chinese multinational investment in Africa. Through my research I hope to help Chinese multinationals more effectively identify and mitigate environmental damage, in turn nudging their investment towards sustainability. 

 

Living on campus at St. John's College has exposed me to a network of fellow graduate students co-existing in a highly multicultural learning environment, and serving as the GSS External Relations Vice President has given me an invaluable insight into municipal, provincial and federal government policymaking processes.