Chinese Studies on the Philippines: Focus on Agriculture
By Prof. Bao Maohong
This presentation examines the recent interest in Chinese Studies on the Philippines, which has been spurred by international trade, and the new economic policies of the Duterte administration. One major focus of such economic relations gives impetus to the rise of organic agriculture as an alternative to industrial production and trade characterizing the bilateral relations between China and the Philippines. Trade and friendly foreign relations between them have been encouraged by a recent visit in 2017 to China by Philippine president Rodrigo R. Duterte.
The author argues that the current emphasis on trade which puts premium on agriculture (e.g., production of organic fruits, like bananas) will provide a balance in foreign relations between the two countries rather than dwell on the West Philippine Sea dispute which also places China at odds with some Asian countries like Vietnam and Japan. Besides, organic agriculture in the Philippines has become an emergent market integrated into the national economy. In 1980s, the green revolution was deemed a failure due to its economic unsustainability and negative impact on the environment. The movement on international organic agriculture combined with reinvention of traditional Philippine agriculture will play a role as an alternative form of agricultural development that at the same time establishes new trading partnership. It also offers an economically viable alternative to rehabilitate degraded arable land. Hopefully, it will also strengthen foreign relations between the two countries through sustained agriculture exports of products in high demand from China.
Prof. Maohong’s brief CV
Prof. Maohong is professor of history and director of Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Peking University. His research focuses on environmental history of the Philippines, and world environmental history. His main publications include: Forest and Development: Deforestation in the Philippines, 1946-1995 (China Environmental Science Press, 2008), The Origins of Environmental History and its Development (Peking University Press, 2012). He is now working on the project “History of the Philippines”. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints.
Date: January 29, 2018, Monday, 12:00-1:30 pm
Venue: Tokioka Room, Moore Hall 319
This lecture is co-sponsored with the UHM Center for Chinese Studies
Free and open to the public
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