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Sino-US agriculture cooperation key to global food security

By Yao Yuxin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-06-13 19:37

Experts deliver keynote speeches at the event. Provided to China Daily.

Despite recent ups and downs in bilateral relations and trade, agricultural cooperation between China and the United States remains promising, benefiting both countries' agricultural sectors and global food security, said experts at a forum in Beijing on Wednesday.

They were speaking at the 2024 China-US Agriculture Roundtable Think Tank Dialogue on Food Security and Agriculture Cooperation. The event was jointly organized by the Bureau of International Cooperation at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the CASS Institute of World Economics and Politics, and the United States Heartland China Association.

According to the latest Global Food Crisis Report, approximately 281.6 million people in 59 countries and regions faced severe food insecurity in 2023, an increase of about 24 million from 2022, marking the fifth consecutive year of growth. Geopolitical conflicts, extreme weather and economic shocks are expected to continue worsening the situation.

"Cooperation is the key to solving the global food crisis," said Zhang Yuyan, director of the CASS's IWEP.

Zhang said that China and the US, as the world's leading agricultural producers and consumers, should prioritize agricultural and rural development. By bolstering bilateral exchanges in agriculture and further advancing agricultural and trade cooperation in third-party markets, both countries can benefit significantly while also contributing significantly to global food security.

Susan Thornton, vice chair of the USHCA, emphasized the importance of agricultural cooperation between the US, the largest developed country, and China, the largest developing country, for ensuring continued prosperity and well-being worldwide.

Despite the current rise in nationalism and backlash against globalization, Thornton stressed the need to recognize the substantial achievements of the past several decades, when major powers collaborated and avoided conflicts.

"I believe China and America can be partners in leading a global endeavor to uplift Africa out of poverty and maintain peace through agriculture between our two countries around the globe," said Kenneth Quinn, president emeritus of the World Food Prize Foundation.

With limited water and land resources but a large population to feed, China is the largest importer of agricultural products, while the US is the largest exporter. The agricultural sectors of the two countries are highly complementary, said Wang Yongzhong, a researcher at the IWEP.

"However, a lack of mutual trust could lead to China reducing purchases of agricultural products from the US and turning to other sources, resulting in less efficient solutions to its food needs at higher costs, which would be detrimental to both," Wang said.

The event also delved into key issues such as Sino-US cooperation in agriculture in Africa, agricultural and rural development in China and the US, Sino-US agricultural trade cooperation, climate-smart and sustainable agriculture, and global food security and governance.


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