Geopolitics and Food Security: Why China Goes Fishing


China is increasingly using its fishing industry for geopolitical purposes. Beijing is deploying fishing boats near and far from Chinese borders with two targets: satisfying its domestic demand for food and expanding China’s sovereignty and influence abroad under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the geopolitical project launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. Such dynamics take place especially in the South China Sea, Oceania, Africa, and South America, which are reached by the maritime routes of BRI.

China’s impact on the fishing industry is so big that it has a profound effect on the rest of the world from both a geopolitical and an environmental point of view.

Seafood represents an important part of the Chinese population’s diet and a key element of China’s food security. China consumes the largest quantity of fish in the world: 65 million tonnes in 2018, which accounts for 45% of the global volume. It means that on…

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