When examining the relationship between energy and society in the current era, it is particularly interesting to take into account non-Western countries policies. According to a common perspective, in fact, these countries lack a solid sustainable development political agenda and are anchored to a merely productive vision of energy. In this regard the Chinese example is illuminating in helping us understand how much more complex the non-Western approach is in reality. Chinese policies, although “pragmatic” and non-ideological, are however aimed towards a transition to a low carbon economy. Xi Jinping has indeed reaffirmed Chinese commitment to green development, also after the COVID-19 crisis (that many feared would have a negative impact on Chinese green policies) in an announcement made from Taiyuan on the 13th of May 2020. This is a sign that the slowdown of the global economy and the increase in protectionist policies do not necessarily put in danger the low-carbon transition in China. Also, one of the driving characteristics of the Belt and Road Initiative is its being “green and clean” and, therefore, an ecological approach is pivotal for China in order to improve the relations with neighboring countries. Despite the regulatory evolution of Chinese environmental law is not completely on point with its Western counterparts (especially when state interests are involved), Chinese progresses should be praised. Also, the Chinese example puts under a new light the importance of regional and interstate cooperation, that could fill the gaps of international provisions (that in some field to address local regulations and as a result, let the exploitation of shared natural resources to occur).