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China’s Food Security Problem

The Sun, a Hong Kong newspaper, published a commentary stating that food security has become a real threat to China. If the Sino-U.S. relationship went south, the U.S. could use the food weapon and "win over China without a war." 

"For the first time, the first government directive in 2015, titled, ‘The Opinion on Deepening Countryside reforms and Accelerating Agricultural Modernization,’ listed the potato as the fourth staple food for China. In the past, the list included only three staple foods: rice, wheat, and corn."

"At the recent meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Leading Group, Xi Jinping put food security in a prominent position. It was prior to energy security, which indicated that China’s food problem is more severe than what the outside world thought."  

"The North China Plain is the main production area for wheat, but the production of wheat has been decreasing year by year due to the contamination of underground water. Hunan Province is a main production area for rice, but its rice has become carcinogenic due to heavy metal pollution."

An earlier China Review News article on China’s food problem mentioned four challenges for China’s agriculture industry:
1. High Prices: The prices of major agricultural products in China exceed their international prices.
2. Increasing Costs: The costs of agricultural products keep increasing.
3. "The Yellow Line" for Subsidies: China’s commitment to the WTO means the country can no longer increase its subsidies to the agriculture industry.
4. "Red Light" on the ecological environment: In its agricultural decisions, China has to pay more attention to the ecological environment.

1. The Sun Online, February 17, 2015
2. China Review News, January 27, 2015