Food Embargoes against China: Their Likelihood and Potential Consequences
China’s concern over its food security has increased in recent years as it opens up its domestic food market to the rest of the world. Chinese policymakers often regard food embargoes by the West as a major potential threat to food security. This paper examines the likelihood and consequences of food embargoes against China. The paper concludes that food embargoes are unlikely to occur, and even if they did, the damage that they could inflict on China is probably small. As a deterrent to such actions, however, international rules governing food embargoes should be strengthened. This will give food-importing countries greater confidence in liberalising trade and will weaken the argument for agricultural protection on the grounds of national security.
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