Chinese Oil Investments in Ecuador and Peru: The Role of Indigenous Civil Society and Government Regulations
In Ecuador and Peru, most Chinese oil investments overlapped with indigenous territories and displayed diverging patterns of social commitments. In Peru, SAPET, the national subsidiary of the largest CNPC, was able to engage with local civil society organizations from the Madre de Dios region and produce positive impacts on indigenous communities by withdrawing from certain protected areas. In Ecuador, Chinese NOCs were heavily criticized for their aggressive expansion into the country’s oil-rich Amazon regions in disregard for local demands. Differences in CSR are then causally traced to different strength levels of civil society (represented by indigenous organizations) in dealing with corporate actors. More importantly, this comparative case study of Peru and Ecuador reaches a conjunctive observation that the effect of civic engagement is contingent upon the host government’s policies toward civil society and the oil industry.