Chinese Apples and the Emerging World Food Trade Order: Food Safety, International Trade and Regulatory Collaboration between China and the European Union
Chinese Journal of Comparative Law, 5, 2, 2017, pp 253-307
Posted: 22 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 14, 2018
China is among the world’s largest producers of apples. It has a potentially large export market around the world. However, differences in food safety standards, for example concerning pesticide residues, often pose serious challenges to Chinese exporters. Focusing mainly on Chinese exports of fresh apples to the European Union (EU), this article analyses these opportunities, related legal obstacles, and the increasingly successful strategies, both domestic and international, used by the Chinese government to meet these challenges associated with them. It considers the gradual alignment of Chinese standards with international standards, the Chinese export strategy based on government support for selected elite export companies, and the conclusion by the Chinese government of new bilateral agreements to open major new markets for Chinese businesses. In doing so, it traces interconnections between international, EU and Chinese food safety standards, China’s post-WTO-succession international trade strategies, the modernisation of Chinese agriculture, relations between public and private standards, the 16 1 arrangement between China and the Central and Eastern European Member States (CEECs) of the EU, China’s One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR), and the development of a China-centred global food economy for apples. The result is an unusual form of regulatory collaboration between China and the EU. These factors are among the main drivers of transnational legal and economic relations in the international food trade today. They represent an emerging world food trade order.
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