Byways and Highways of Direct Investment: China and the Offshore World

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This paper examines a lacuna in the literature on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to China: the absence of analysis for the prominent location of small Caribbean and Pacific islands as leading sources of FDI. An indeterminate amount of domestic capital is embedded in these FDI flows, which distorts comparative studies on FDI in developing economies between China and other states. Direct investment from China has also increased in recent years and offshore financial centres (OFCs) often serve as the initial destinations. This paper excavates the rationales behind the presence of OFCs and suggests that Chinese actors will emulate the practices of developed state multinational corporations and high-net-worth individuals. The implications of these investment practices are outlined along with possible trajectories for their impact on the process of financial liberalisation in China. Consequently, it encourages increased Chinese participation in the development of global financial governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-142
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Current Chinese Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • China
  • FDI
  • ODI
  • offshore financial centre
  • round-tripping
  • economic development


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