China and US interests could clash as Beijing seeks food security
Updated: May 28, 2022 07:12 STI
Washington [US]May 28 (ANI): China’s push to address its food security challenges could put the United States, as the world’s top agricultural producer, on the way to Beijing, according to an independent US government agency.
The report released by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) examines China’s food security challenges and how these vulnerabilities are driving interest in US-China agricultural relations.
According to the USCC, China’s efforts to bolster its agricultural sector and food security, sometimes through illicit means, could prove to be a risk to the economic and national security of the United States.
In 2021, China imported more than 30 million metric tons of corn, used primarily for animal feed, from the United States, a substantial increase from less than 5 million metric tons of corn in 2019.
But as demands increase for its agricultural production, China will meet this challenge through policies, technologies and economic activities.
“For example, the acquisition of pig herds by Chinese companies in the United States could save China money and improve its domestic capacity; however, it could also reduce China’s need for production of American origin and redistribute the environmental effects of
pork waste to American communities,” the USCC report said.
“If further Chinese consolidation and investment in US agricultural assets takes place, China could have excessive leverage in US supply chains. China’s access to US agricultural intellectual property could also erode the American competitiveness in agricultural technologies that support food production,” he added.
According to the report, China’s illicit acquisitions of GM seeds are boosting China’s development of these seeds, depriving US companies of revenue and providing an opportunity to uncover vulnerabilities in US crops.
This report also examines China’s food security challenges and how these vulnerabilities are driving interest in U.S.-China agricultural relations.
“Specifically, it assesses the motivations behind China’s agricultural investments, including food production challenges and relevant CCP efforts to reduce import dependence, conserve farmland, and upgrade agricultural technologies. It then examines major areas of Chinese investment in the United States, including land, livestock, grain, and relevant infrastructure, such as agricultural equipment and technology,” the report said.
Finally, the report presents considerations for lawmakers regarding further Chinese integration into U.S. agriculture.