Is China Headed for Food Rationing?

  • The president of China XI Jinping speech included rationing food.
  • China had one of the worst floods this summer.
  • China consumes over 200 million tonnes of food per year.

Last month, China’s “President for Life,” Xi Jinping, pointed out in a speech the importance of saving food. According to the Chinese leader, “the phenomenon of waste in relation to food is appalling and distressing.” This is despite the fact, he says, that grain production in the country is growing from year to year.

Xi Jinping is the head of state of the People’s Republic of China. Xi is the 11th, and current, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, and the 7th, and current, President of the People’s Republic of China, since the office was revived in 1983.

You should always keep in mind the risks in the field of food security, XI Jinping said. He also added that the impact of the pandemic this year was a wake-up call for China.

China has been experiencing a rise in living standards for several years, which, in turn, marks the transition to a new model of consumption: consumption in abundance. Traditionally, in China, it was considered right to take care of food, understanding that food may run out, and perceiving hunger as an integral part of life. This in many ways resulted in the Chinese cuisine, which tries to direct almost everything that can be eaten.

That philosophy brought a lot of pandemics, including SARS. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Western model of consumption is actively developing, when there is a surplus of food, and what is left after eating should go to waste, and not be eaten.

Coronavirus originated from China. French Nobel Prize winner and virologist Dr. Luc Montagnier believes the virus came from a Chinese lab.  He believes the Wuhan lab was working on an AIDS treatment or vaccine, and it resulted in the release of the virus to the public. Most of the scientific community, however, does not.

The East Asian rainy season, commonly called the plum rain, is caused by precipitation along a persistent stationary front known as the Meiyu front for nearly two months during the late spring and early summer between China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The wet season ends during the summer when the subtropical ridge becomes strong enough to push this front north of the region.

Chinese traditions based on thrift and respect for food continue to be a deterrent. The trend is, of course, unpleasant. Limited resources were once cited as one of the reasons for limiting the birth rate in China— the One Child Policy— but China has already abandoned this program, thereby making it clear that everything is fine with resources, including food.

Last year, China had a record harvest of grain produced. Nevertheless, with dictatorships, it is hard to know if the numbers are accurate. According to the data available, China consumes over 200 million tons of food per year.

The timing of the speech, and to include food in it, would signal that there is a worry in China. Surely, flooding and drought is a threat to the crops. Yet, natural disasters happen all the time.

Prior to this year, Chinese propaganda included taking over as the number 1 nation in the world, and overtaking the US. China started to feel superior and acted overinflated in many ways. China was also seen trying to gain geopolitical control in Africa.

China could have export issues with the West. China does large trade with Russia. At present, Russia has been neutral, but it seems the Kremlin is not as keen on China as it was prior to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, there has to be significance to the Chinese leader’s speech ,and also it means that Chinese leadership is worried. The trade war with US and and the pandemic could actually create unfavorable conditions. Could China have a similar fate as North Korea?

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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