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Agriculture and Food Security in China

Agriculture and Food Security in China: What Effect WTO Accession and Regional Trade Arrangements?

Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Agriculture and Food Security in China
    Book Description:

    China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has had profound consequences for the structure of its economy, and there will many more before the full benefits of an open trading regime will be realised. Agriculture and Food Security in China explains the background to China's WTO accession and links accession to reforms beginning as far back as 1979. The book highlights China's policymakers' decision to move away from protectionism and gain self-sufficiency, and illustrates how China's step away from direct participation in the agricultural sector to indirect regulatory involvement and liberalisation could encourage further economic growth. Yet not all economic growth is cost-free. Agriculture and Food Security in China explores the short-term impacts of WTO accession as well as the mid and long-term implications of greater market involvement at an economy-wide and regional level. Growing divides between coastal and inland regions—and differences in rural and urban growth—will require a better understanding of the consequences of greater market dependency. Agriculture and Food Security in China adds to the existing knowledge of China's agricultural growth as well as the impacts and interrelationships between WTO accession and China's participation in other regional free trade agreements.

    eISBN: 978-1-921313-64-6
    Subjects: Business, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vi-xi)
    (pp. xi-xiii)
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xvii)
    (pp. xviii-xx)
    Chunlai Chen and Ron Duncan
  9. 01 Achieving food security in China: Implications of WTO accession
    (pp. 1-26)
    Chunlai Chen and Ron Duncan

    The impact of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) on its agricultural sector has been a major concern of the Chinese government and one of the hottest topics among policymakers and academics inside and outside China. In 1998, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded a multi-year research project (ADP/1998/128) to examine the impacts of China’s WTO accession on its agricultural sector. The project was a joint undertaking by researchers from Australia and China.

    The project began before China’s accession to the WTO, but it was anticipated that the accession application would be successful and that...

  10. 02 Agricultural development and policy before and after China’s WTO accession
    (pp. 27-54)
    Jikun Huang and Scott Rozelle

    China’s economy has experienced remarkable growth and significant structural changes since economic reforms were initiated in 1979. The annual average growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) has been about 9 per cent in the past three decades (NBSC 2006). This rapid growth has been accompanied by a significant structural shift in the economy from agriculture to industry and services.

    Although agriculture’s share of the economy has been falling, China has still enjoyed agricultural growth rates that have considerably outpaced the increase in population. Food security—one of the issues of central concern to policymakers in China—has also improved...

  11. 03 China’s WTO accession: The impact on its agricultural sector and grain policy
    (pp. 55-84)
    Feng Lu

    China’s WTO accession was approved on 27 September 2001, and China finally joined the WTO at the annual Ministerial Meeting of the WTO in November 2001. The further integration of China into the international economy will undoubtedly bring profound economic and social changes to China. The issue has been widely debated in China in recent years. Of the implications of China’s accession to the WTO, the impact on China’s agricultural sector is of particular importance as it links to sensitive issues such as rural income and food security. As a result, the significance of the debate on the issue of...

  12. 04 Rural-urban income disparity and WTO impact on China’s agricultural sector: Policy considerations
    (pp. 85-103)
    Xiaolu Wang and Ron Duncan

    Since the beginning of agricultural reform in the late 1970s and early 1980s, grain output in China has increased significantly. The long-standing problem of grain supply shortages has basically been solved. However, grain production and pricing are still not fully liberalised and large fluctuations in grain prices, together with short-term shortages and surpluses of grain, have occurred several times. These events have seriously affected farmers’ incomes. Partly as a result, rural-urban income disparities have grown, particularly in the 1990s.

    In 2001, China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO). Because of the commitment made to open the domestic market for agricultural...

  13. 05 The impact of WTO accession on China’s agricultural sector
    (pp. 104-134)
    Xiaolu Wang

    Agriculture is still very important in China, not only because it provides the major source of food for the people but also because it is still the major source of income for half of the 1.26 billion people in China. In the past half a century, from 1952 to 2000, China experienced rapid industrialisation, and the share of agriculture in GDP fell from 51 per cent to 16 per cent. However, the differentiation of the population changed far more slowly. During the same period, the proportion of rural people in the total population only declined from 85 per cent to...

  14. 06 The impact of China’s WTO accession on its regional economies
    (pp. 135-182)
    Tingsong Jiang

    China was admitted to the WTO in November 2001, after making commitments far beyond those most member economies agreed to when they joined (Lardy 2002). The accession ended a 15-year long and difficult negotiation process. However, the discussion of the impact of China’s accession on the domestic economy and on the world economy has only just begun.

    Many studies discuss the impact of China’s accession using general equilibrium models, because these models enable panoramic analysis of economy-wide effects.¹ These studies share the view that, overall, China will achieve gains in economic efficiency but that agriculture, the auto industry and the...

  15. 07 WTO accession and food security in China
    (pp. 183-202)
    Tingsong Jiang

    After 15 years of long and difficult negotiations, China was admitted to WTO in November 2001. China made the most exceptional accession commitment in the history of the WTO and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT). For example, China agreed to lower its average statutory tariff on industrial products to 8.9 per cent, while the rates for Argentina, Brazil, India and Indonesia were set as high as 30.9, 27.0, 32.4 and 30.9 per cent, respectively (Lardy 2002). For agricultural goods, China has agreed to have no agricultural export subsidies, and to limit its domestic support to...

  16. 08 Revisiting the economic costs of food self-sufficiency in China
    (pp. 203-228)
    Ron Duncan, Lucy Rees and Rod Tyers

    The comparatively rapid economic growth experienced in the economies of East Asia has been associated with declines in food self-sufficiency and increases in agricultural protection. This has been most noteworthy in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, where the relative decline in economic importance of the agricultural sectors has not been accompanied by a similar decline in the political influence of farmers (Anderson et al. 1986; Krueger 1992). Rapid expansion in these countries’ manufacturing and services sectors meant that the relative cost of protecting agriculture, as distinct from the expanding sectors, declined. Moreover, as agriculture shed workers to the modern sectors and...

  17. 09 Trade reform in the short run: China’s WTO accession
    (pp. 229-267)
    Rod Tyers and Lucy Rees

    China’s accession to the WTO was an important event in global economic history and it is fitting that there has been so much quantitative analysis of its implications for trade and growth (Gilbert and Wahl 2001). The most recent quantitative assessments have offered comparatively sophisticated representations of some peculiar trade policies and Chinese labour market conditions.¹ All these studies have, however, focussed on medium to long-run impacts of accession reforms. They have not addressed the issue of ‘how do we get there from here’ and, in particular, the dependence of the transition on macroeconomic policies. This paper follows on from...

  18. 10 Trade reform, macroeconomic policy and sectoral labour movement in China
    (pp. 268-304)
    Jennifer Chang and Rod Tyers

    Although the Chinese economy continues to grow rapidly, since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s there is evidence of a slowdown, most prominently in per capita rural income growth. One explanation for this is that the relocation of labour from agriculture to manufacturing and services, essential in any growing developing economy, has been retarded. This could be due to policy disincentives designed to control urban congestion, such as the household registration or hukou system (Ianchovichina and Martin 2002a) or information asymmetries and transaction/infrastructural costs (Sicular and Zhao 2002). A further hypothesis attributes comparatively poor performance in China’s rural...

  19. 11 China’s agricultural trade following its WTO accession
    (pp. 305-345)
    Chunlai Chen

    Since its entry into the WTO in December 2001, China’s economy has grown rapidly. The average annual growth rate of China’s real GDP was more than 9.8 per cent during 2002-05.¹ China’s foreign trade has been expanding even more rapidly than its economic growth. The total value of China’s foreign trade has increased from US$457 billion in 2001 to US$1263 billion in 2005—an annual growth rate of 28.6 per cent, as compared with 9.4 per cent during the 1990s.² Undoubtedly, China’s economy has benefited from its more open international trade regime resulting from accession to the WTO.³

    The impact...

  20. 12 Agricultural trade between China and ASEAN: Dynamics and prospects
    (pp. 346-371)
    Jun Yang and Chunlai Chen

    Bilateral trade between China and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has expanded very quickly since 2001. China became ASEAN’s third largest export market in 2005, after the United States and Japan. In particular, ASEAN’s agricultural exports to China have increased rapidly, reaching US$5.9 billion in 2005. As a result, China became the third largest agricultural export market for ASEAN in 2005. With its rapid economic growth and structural change, slowing population growth, continuing income growth, rapid urbanisation and limited natural resources, China can be expected to import an increasing volume of agricultural products to meet its increasing food...

  21. 13 The economic impact of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area: A computational analysis with special emphasis on agriculture
    (pp. 372-407)
    Jun Yang and Chunlai Chen

    Trade between China and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has increased very rapidly in the past decade. Total trade (imports plus exports) between China and ASEAN expanded 6.7 times, from US$19.3 billion in 1996 to US$105.1 billion in 2005—an annual growth rate of 21 per cent. Currently, China is ASEAN’s third largest trading partner, and ASEAN is China’s fourth largest trading partner. As the growth rate of China’s imports from ASEAN is higher than that of its exports to the regional group, China’s trade status with ASEAN has changed from a trade surplus to a trade deficit,...

  22. Index
    (pp. 408-420)