As Chinese investment in foreign land and agriculture expands dramatically worldwide, a growing body of research has emerged on the prevalence of land deals in Latin America and Africa. Southeast Asia, however, has only recently begun to receive significant attention in these discussions. A deeper exploration of the Southeast Asian context offers crucial insights into understanding the puzzle of global land deals (why, where, how they occur) more broadly. This paper frames this exploration via an overview of regional land deal trends – focusing particularly on China’s emergence as a prolific investor in the Global South, and why Chinese investment is increasingly targeting Southeast Asia, especially vis-à-vis expanding flex and boom crop production. This paper aims to provide a broader contextualization for recent Southeast Asian case studies, and to highlight why more research in the region is key in deepening our understanding of global land deal trends.

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Mills, E. (2017). Framing China’s role in global land deal trends: why Southeast Asia is key. Globalizations, 1–10. doi:10.1080/14747731.2017.1400250