China faces rising calls for on its agricultural manufacturing that it seeks to handle by coverage, expertise, and financial actions. In 2021, China imported a file quantity of corn at 28.35 million metric tons (mmt), 152 p.c greater than in 2020 and greater than 10 p.c of China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) estimate for the nation’s complete corn consumption (see Tables 1 and a couple of). 1 The China Academy of Social Sciences’ 2020 Rural Development Institute report claimed “there is likely to be a grain shortfall of about 130 mmt, including about 25 mmt of staple food grain” by the top of 2025.
Diminishing arable land, shifting demographics, and pure disasters compound these developments and current meals safety challenges to China’s leaders. In response, China has launched home insurance policies to advertise meals safety and reduce meals waste, each of which have been a precedence of General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Xi Jinping since he assumed energy. Under his rule, the federal government has additionally established insurance policies to develop home farmland and harness improvements in agricultural applied sciences, similar to genetically modified (GM) seed traces, all in an effort to bolster meals safety.
The Chinese authorities’s home efforts, nonetheless, aren’t sufficient to unravel China’s issues. Recognizing its challenges, China has additionally gone overseas to handle its wants by investments and acquisitions of farmland, animal husbandry, agricultural gear, and mental property (IP), significantly of GM seeds. The United States is a world chief in all of those fields, making it a chief buying and selling companion and sometimes a goal of China’s efforts to strengthen its agriculture sector and meals safety, generally by illicit means.
These efforts current a number of dangers to U.S. financial and nationwide safety. For instance, Chinese corporations’ acquisition of hog herds in the United States could save China cash and improve its home capability; nonetheless, this might additionally cut back China’s want for U.S.-sourced manufacturing and redistributes the environmental results of hog waste to U.S. communities. If additional consolidations and Chinese investments in U.S. agricultural property happen, China could have undue leverage over U.S. provide chains. China’s entry to U.S. agricultural IP may additionally erode U.S. competitiveness in agriculture expertise that helps meals manufacturing. Additionally, China’s illicit acquisitions of GM seeds gives a jumpstart to China’s personal growth of such seeds, deprives U.S. corporations of income, and affords a chance to find vulnerabilities in U.S. crops.
This report opinions China’s meals safety challenges and the way these vulnerabilities drive pursuits in U.S.-China agricultural relations. Specifically, it evaluates the motivations behind China’s agricultural investments, together with challenges to meals manufacturing and related CCP efforts to scale back import reliance, preserve farmland, and modernize agricultural applied sciences. It then examines the primary areas of Chinese funding in the United States, together with land, livestock, grains, and related infrastructure, like agricultural gear and expertise. Finally, the report presents concerns for lawmakers concerning additional Chinese integration in the U.S. agriculture sector.
Read the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report