1st Edition

China's Agricultural Investment in Australia Uneven Geographies of Agri-Food Globalization

By Michaela Boehme Copyright 2025
    238 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book critically examines the driving forces, discourses, and conflicts surrounding Chinese investments in overseas farmland, with a specific focus on Australia.

    With growing amounts of finance channelled into the purchase of overseas food and farming assets, China has become a frontrunner in the global land rush. Unlike much of the existing literature which focuses on emerging economies such as Brazil or Africa, this book examines Chinese farmland purchases in the developed country context of Australia. Based on four years extensive field work in Australia and China, it traces the encounters and interactions between investors, regulators, deal brokers, farmers, and eaters that shape the ways in which individual Chinese investment projects materialize in the Australian countryside. In contrast to conventional wisdom portraying China’s overseas land rush as a state-led strategy to feed the Chinese population, the book reveals that Chinese investments in Australian farmland have been propelled by the intersecting interests of inter-national finance and business elites looking to cash in on booming Chinese demand for high-quality, Western food products. The book provides a unique transnational perspective on China’s overseas farmland purchases and shows how Chinese farmland investments produce uneven geographies of agri-food globalization that cut across national borders. Through the lens of China’s agri-engagement in Australia, the book advances our theoretical understanding of the new types of power relations and dynamics shaping an increasingly multi-polar agri-food system.

    This book will be useful to students and scholars of agri-food studies, Chinese studies and globalization with an interest in the global land rush and the shifting contours of the global agri-food system.


    1. China’s rise as a global investor in food and farming

    Part 1: Context

    2. Feeding China: Between self-sufficiency and global integration

    3. Renegotiating Chinese farmland investments in Australia

    4. Who are the Chinese purchasing Australian farmland?

    Part 2: Grounded Perspectives

    5. Grounding: Placing Chinese agri-food capital in Australian ruralities

    6. Accumulation: Rendering farmland investment profitable

    7. Articulations: Remaking agri-food chains


    8. Beyond the land rush: China, Australia, and the global agri-food system


    Databank of Chinese investments in Australian agriculture


    Michaela Boehme is the Deputy Managing Director at the Sino-German Agricultural Centre in Beijing, China. She holds a PhD in Global Studies from the University of Leipzig, Germany and previously worked as an agribusiness consultant and analyst with a focus on China’s agricultural transformation and its impact on the global agri-food system.