This paper conceptualizes China’s overseas agricultural investment and the responses it has generated in Australia as conflicting projects seeking to respatialize the geographical organization of food security. More specifically, the analysis presented in the paper draws on insights from critical socio-spatial theory 13 to highlight how tensions over Chinese agri-investments in the Australian context have found expression in ambivalent processes of food security reterritorialization on different geographical scales. Following this logic, the renewed attention to the question of “who will feed China” can be understood as both a site and a stake of political strategies and struggles over the socio-spatial organization of food security.
The argument presented in this paper is based on an analysis of policy recommendations, laws, guidelines, whitepapers, as well as grey literature published by a wide range of Australian and Chinese state and corporate actors, including government institutions, industry peak bodies, lobby organizations, research institutes, and think tanks. This material is supplemented by interviews and speeches of relevant state and corporate actors that have been made available via newspaper and media outlets. Together, these documents allow to trace the dynamic and contested framings of food security and their implications for the spatial reconfiguration of the agri-food system as China emerges as global agri-food investor.
This paper conceptualizes China’s overseas agricultural investment and the responses it has generated in Australia as conflicting projects seeking to respatialize the geographical organization of