This paper aims to broaden the scope of analysis of the contemporary global land rush by examining crop booms not only outside, but inside China; and investment flows not only from China, but also within and into China. It does so by examining the eucalyptus and sugarcane sectors in southern China, which have witnessed investment booms during the past decade, with capital being infused by both domestic capital and foreign capital, including Finnish, Indonesian, and Thai companies. Our argument addresses three key issues: (a) explaining why foreign and domestic companies enter into a multitude of lease and grower contracts involving holders of micro-plots, (b) revisiting the notion of extra-economic coercion, and (c) a critique of thinking about flows of large-scale investments centred primarily on nationality. These issues are central in current debates in the land grabs literature, and our study offers a different perspective from dominant narratives.

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Keywords BRICS, China, crop booms, sugarcane, eucalyptus, land grabs
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Journal Globalizations
Borras, S.M, jr., Liu, J, Hu, Z, Li, H, Wang, C, Xu, Y, … Ye, J.Z. (2017). Land control and crop booms inside China: implications for how we think about the global land rush. Globalizations. doi:10.1080/14747731.2017.1408287