Can China’s Food Crisis Be Avoided?
After Yuan Longping, the “father of hybrid rice”,
warned that China’s food crisis could occur at any time,
which would trigger a social crisis, the regime
has repeatedly emphasized the food security issue.
The topic has sparked heated debate.
Can the food crisis be avoided?
Let’s take a look at experts’ analysis.
Agricultural scientist Yuan Longping wrote an article entitled
“China’s Biggest Catastrophe Unavoidable.”
He lists 12 reasons why the food crisis cannot be avoided
and is ready to break out.
The article suggests that if China’s food supply is insufficient,
a terrible phenomenon will occur.
Potential crises include a lowered food self-sufficiency rate
and cooking oil self-sufficiency rate;
no food security bottom line, environmental pollution
and various hormones leading to food chain security
problems; seed resources influence by foreign technology,
flooding of Genetically Modified foods and weakness
of national storage food;
Farmers lose motivation to plant grain
due to the low price of purchasing food.
The article concludes, “A chaotic scene appears in front
of me – cannibalism, homelessness and starvation.
It can happen at any time, and it cannot be avoided.”
Gong Shengli, lead researcher at National Reference financial
magazine, says that in recent years China’s food imports
sharply rised and the food self-sufficiency rate constantly
sunk, thus Yuan Longping’s words are not exaggerated.
Gong Shengli: “Soybean oil, olive oil, and other seed oil
have been in short supply for several years,
especially soybean – sources say its production is very low.
The shortage of soybean causes the largest food insufficiency.
70 percent of (China’s) cooking oils are imported,
it is very serious.”
Before 2011, China only allowed small amounts
of rice and wheat to be imported.
They import almost no corn.
In 2011, the China state council research center predicted
that grain imports would increase from 4.16 million tons
in 1997 to 22.24 million tons in 2020.
However, in 2012, food imports exceeded 70 million tons,
threatening the food self-sufficiency rate, and going below
China’s bottom line of keeping food the self-sufficiency rate
above 95 percent.
Foreign countries are also worried that China food demands
will cause a global food shortage.
According to Brett Rierson, director of the World Food
Program’s China Liaison Office, last year China became
the world’s second leading importer of rice and barley,
the tenth leading corn importer and was among the top 20
Mao Yushi, Chinese economist: “China should import grain,
because China’s grain production cost is higher,
while the US and some other countries
have cheaper production.
Thus China should import grain.
The cheaper foods from other countries you don’t eat,
instead you choose expensive ones, aren’t you foolish?”
China imports large amounts of grain from the U.S.,
Brazil and other countries, which has not only influenced
global food price, but also affected Chinese farmers’
It is one of the reasons for China’s grain crisis.
Some people worry that if the international community places
an embargo on China, food security won’t be promising.
Mao Yushi believes that if it happens, the Chinese
regime will have committed a great sin – although there
is enough food, people’s lives still cannot change
for the better.
At the end of November 2013, communist party leader
Xi Jinping addressed Shandong Academy
of Agricultural Sciences.
He said if “food is in the hands, the heart won’t be panicked.”
Xi also warned that once a famine occurs,
money will be useless.
In mid-December 2013, at an economy work meeting,
food security was listed as 2014’s top priority.
In addition, it was declared that the goals of “grain
self-sufficiency” and “moderate imports” must be achieved.
Seven standing committee members attended
the rural work meeting in late December 2013.
They again stressed the food security issue.
They requested that food self-sufficiency be secured,
food rations be kept absolutely safe,
and to “strictly stay within the arable red line.”
On Jan. 19, the central regime’s infamous No. 1 document
listed food security as the top priority again.
Zhang Kai, China Agricultural Bioengineering scholar,
points out that China’s repeated stressing of the importance
of food means they are also aware that China’s grain crisis
However, he hasn’t seen any practical plan
created to solve the problem.
Zhang Kai: “The regime is avoiding an important issue –
to produce grain, there must be soil and water.
Without solving the pollution of soil and water issues,
the food problem cannot be solved.”
In 2013, Mainland lawyers requested that the regime publicize
the national soil pollution’s status survey report,
which costs one billion yuan of the budget.
However, the environmental ministry refused these lawyers’
request because national soil pollution was classified
as a state secret.
In late 2013, Wang Shiyuan, deputy minister
of Land and Natural Resources said that plants will not grow
on about 50 million mu (3.33 million hectares) of land
due to the existence of heavy pollution.
Interview & Edit/Liyun Post-Production/Chengjianmin