Apparently, China is running out of real estate. According a recent story published by MSN UK, the country of Ukraine has reportedly agreed to lease a portion of its land in the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region to China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corporation. Specific details of the deal have not yet been confirmed but it is believed that up to three million hectares (or approximately 7.5 million acres) will be made available for growing crops and raising pigs.
Ukraine’s biggest agricultural company, KSG Agro, denies this report and claims that only 3,000 hectares will be farmed as part of the agreement. According to writer Ian Jones, this is not the first time the Chinese government has looked outside its borders for land to cultivate. To supply its booming population – a number that is expected to hit 1.4 billion by 2050 – China has rented farmland in South America, Africa, and southeast Asia.
China, however, isn’t the only country playing the “land grab” game. The New Territories – one of the three main regions in Hong Kong – was leased by China to the UK for 99 years beginning in July of 1898 and on the other side of the globe, a total of 45 square miles of land and water in Cuba was leased to the United States as part of the Cuban-American Treaty in 1903. It was on this parcel of land that the U.S. built its Guatanamo Bay Naval Base which has been used as a detention camp since 2002. Although the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with Cuba, they continue to pay rent for this facility each year as part of their lease agreement.