Rural-Urban Alliance As Collaborative Politics in Fighting Against Global Capitalism: A Case Study of Food Sovereignty Movement in China

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Hok Bun KU, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
China has been increasingly engaged with global capitalism since China’s WTO entry in 2001. Agrarian globalization impacts China’s rural transformation as well as the sustainability of overall development. Same as other countries, food security becomes very critical in mainland China. Recently, food security was listed as the first major issue to be tackled by Chinese government. Food security issue in China is related to food subsistence and food safety. In facing the food security crisis, NGOs in China have grasped and readily embraced the concept of “Food Sovereignty” in recent years. A growing number of food sovereignty movements emerged in the form of rural-urban alliance that encouraged rural producers to grow and produce organic crops and foods to cate for increasing demands for higher quality rural produce in urban centres. By selling directly to these markets at a ‘fairer’ price with the assistance of NGOs, these initiatives became a new way of of assisting rural producers to lift themselves out of poverty through producer-consumer cooperation and sustainable development (Shi, et al. 2011; Ku & Ip, 2011). In this paper, authors are going to introduce China’s food security crisis and analyze how it affects people’s livelihood in both villages and cities. Based on our participatory action research in Yunnan province of China, authors will point out that in facing the food safety crisis caused by the globalization of agriculture, Chinese local producers and consumers are not passively waiting for government’s policy change or the mercy of capitals, but actively search for alternative way to save themselves through a new form of collaborative politics of rural-urban alliance.