New geopolitical dynamics and the surge for natural resources, such as land, accompany the rise of the BRICS countries in the global arena. In this paper, I discuss the case of Chinese agricultural land investments in the Central Asian state, Tajikistan. Emerging from a Soviet past, Tajikistan seems to be on its way to becoming one of China’s newest satellite states.
Development cooperation is an increasingly prominent focus in Chinese foreign diplomacy, and a central justification for Chinese firms’ engagement in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) across the global South.
As Brazil and China become the world’s leading exporter and importer of soybeans respectively, Chinese companies have sought investments in Brazil to wrest greater control over the flows and profits of the international soybean trade from North Atlantic-based transnational companies. While some promote these as positive “South-South cooperation”, many others condemn them as neocolonial “land grabs” that displace peasants, cause environmental degradation, and deindustrialize the Brazilian economy.