Chinese decision-makers are grappling with policy choices that will optimise the gains from China’s integration into the international trading system in harmony with social, regional and sustainable development goals. Trade liberalisation can significantly enhance the reform process underway and bring great benefits to China. But the agricultural sector faces the greatest challenges and potential hardships of any economic sector from this process. Significant domestic policy reform and structural adjustment will be critical to enable China to realise its comparative advantage in agriculture and to redeploy an estimated 150 million redundant farmers. To sharpen understanding of the policy options, the OECD invited Chinese and international experts to reflect together upon the likely impacts of freer trade on China’s agricultural sector. Based on the results of China’s WTO negotiations with key trading partners, they assessed the compatibility of China’s WTO commitments with domestic policies and the need for specific changes. They analysed the effects of likely policy changes on cereal, oilseeds and livestock markets in China and OECD countries. And they examined the implications of China’s WTO accession on rural enterprises, regional development and the domestic and international political economy. These proceedings offer the reader the fruits of timely analytical and strategic thinking and joint reflection on some of the most important agricultural policy issues for China and the world.
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