This paper engages with the critical literature on development through a study of transnational environmentalism in China. Within the last decade, international development efforts have become increasingly important in shaping China's encounters with global sensibilities, funds, and projects. The author builds on scholarship that approaches China as a transnational entity and examines the emerging politics of the environment in China. Based on an ethnographic case study of a conservation and development project in Yunnan Province, the paper argues against conceptions that international development agendas can be unilaterally imposed. Rather, it suggests that in order to gain traction, agendas require a variety of agents. These agents create convergences through forms of “transnational work,” by and through particular social engagements. Finally, this paper reveals how such convergences remain tenuous and fleeting, and can be quickly dissolved when one side or another changes its orientation.

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