This paper uses the concept of ecological civilization (EC) that has been developed within China and is now promoted within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The paper critically examines the suitability of China’s environmental law as an export product and uses the law and economics literature to formulate some critical observations with respect to the suitability of Chinese environmental law as an export product. Law and economics are also used to analyze the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) literature, arguing that the reduction of environmental pollution will only occur with an increase in regulatory and institutional structures. Then, the law and development literature is employed to critically analyze the so-called legal transplants phenomenon, whereby particular legal rules from a donor country are transplanted to a host country. That literature argues that transplants may lead to rejection if they are not demand-driven and do not take into account local needs. The paper therefore concludes with some implications for the idea of transplanting the concept of EC along the BRI.
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The author is grateful to Martin de Jong, editor of the Special Issue, and to anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions, and to the Erasmus Initiative for the Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity for supporting the publication.
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