Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Enlarging your nation state

The plan sounds unrealistic to a Russian expert, but China has already rented land in Africa and South America for food production. Some Chinese are convinced that China is nearing its capacity but not its need to produce. Will it work? Check back in a few years.

Chinese firm to rent Russian land in Siberia for crops
A Chinese firm is in talks with Russia about renting up to 115,000 hectares (284,050 acres) of land to grow crops and rear livestock in eastern Siberia.

Trans-Baikal regional officials say the deal with investment firm Huae Sinban could be worth up to $448m (£282m)…

Huae Sinban plans to rent the land for 49 years. China has made similar farming investments in other countries…

Prof Natalya Zubarevich, an economist at Moscow State University, told BBC Russian that it would be "impractical" to lease such a huge area for farming, as the soil would require much work in a harsh climate…

Vegetable oil cultivation was being mentioned, she said, "but sunflowers don't grow in that region". "There's little pasture, because of the harsh continental climate. The Chinese are very capable, but can they cope with that climate? Apparently they'll use greenhouses."…

Russia has been looking east for investment following the imposition of economic sanctions by the West over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict.

President Vladimir Putin has met Chinese President Xi Jinping at least five times in the last year and the two have described themselves as "good friends".

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