The People’s Republic of China turns to food supplies from Middle Asia and Central Asia
The first consequences of the “tariff war” between the USA and the People’s Republic of China are already perceptible – the trading routes in the world are changing notably. During the past month the Chinese government has intensified its support for agriculture-based infrastructure projects in order to help Chinese grain companies expand trade along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative and link the economic potential of the regions into a single trading network. This should help China circumvent the new customs duties on industrial goods imposed by the USA. The new projects stipulated inter alia, the construction of a customs port for the amount of CNY 160 million (USD 24 million) for grain being imported into Lanzhou New Area where an economic development zone has been established, and the creation of five logistics parks for grain.
Additional tariffs and protracted customs audits of imported grain have forced China to find alternative sources to satisfy massive domestic demand. State-of-the-art transport infrastructure created thanks to the Belt and Road initiative makes it possible to expedite significantly the transportation process. Chinese traders have already noted an increase in wheat imports from Kazakhstan in connection with the start of the “tariff war” with the USA.
From February this year, the China-Kazakhstan logistics hub financed as part of the Belt and Road Initiative processed approximately 13,500 tonnes of Kazakh wheat.
In addition, China has signed an agreement on supplies with grain manufacturers in Azerbaijan and Belarus.
Similar developments can be seen when it comes to procurements of other types of food products for China. The country is turning its attention to other partners. The slowdown in the customer clearance of American goods has resulted, for example, in termination of cherry purchases from the USA. Now they are purchased in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. In these countries customs clearance and quarantine inspections proceed more quickly and more simply thanks in part to the use of agreements concluded as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
All this only goes to show the effectiveness of the partnership system established by the People’s Republic of China as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The country has managed to adjust rapidly in the changing economic situation and neutralise some of the negative repercussions of confrontation with the USA.
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