Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2019, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (6): 584-597.doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.003

• Ecological Carrying Capacity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Characteristics of Agricultural and Livestock Products Trade Flows between China and the “Belt and Road” Initiative Region: From the Perspective of Biocapacity

JIN Mingming1,2, XU Zengrang1,*()   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-06-28 Accepted:2019-08-18 Online:2019-11-30 Published:2019-12-09
  • Contact: XU Zengrang
  • Supported by:
    The Tibetan Scientific-Technology Project(Z2016C01G01/04);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(41571496);The National Key Research and Development Programme(2016YFC0503403)


In the context of global ecological overload, international trade has become one of the most important ways to make up for the ecological deficit. This study takes the “Belt and Road” Initiative as the study area to analyze the biocapacity and ecological footprint characteristics between China and other countries along the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Trade flow characteristics were explored from the perspective of biocapacity. The import and export of virtual land was used to assess the effect of trade on compensating for the resource gaps in crop and grazing land. The main results show that: 1) In 2005-2014, the majority of “Belt and Road” countries were experiencing increasing degrees of overload. In China, cropland takes up the largest proportion of biocapacity, while the ecological footprint is dominated by the carbon footprint. 2) The trade flow of agricultural and livestock products in the mainland of China shows a trend of increasing imports and decreasing exports, which increases dependence on specific regions. 3) In 2005-2014, China’s trade in cereals and oil crops along the “Belt and Road” Initiative were generally net imports, and the share of cereals traded along the “Belt and Road” Initiative is increasing gradually, but that of oil crops decreased rapidly. 4) The import trade has alleviated ecological deficit, as the selected products compensated for 1.03 times of the cropland deficit and 0.65 times of the grazing land deficit in China. This study is helpful to understand the relationship between the land use and trade deeply, and provide decision-making references for reducing ecological deficits, optimizing land resource allocation, and promoting win-win cooperation among China and other countries in the “Belt and Road” Initiative.

Key words: biocapacity, ecological footprint, ecological deficit, the “Belt and Road” Initiative region;, trade flows, China