Wednesday

1st Feb 2023

Stakeholder

Ensuring global food security: what China says and does

  • A recent UN report paints a dire picture. It shows the number of people affected by hunger across the world has risen to as many as 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic (Photo: EUobserver)
Listen to article

Hit by intense heat, it is reported that some European countries will see their soft-wheat output drop by seven percent, lower than their five-year average, another bad news for the already strained global food supply.

But the problem did not pop up just this summer.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

In recent years, the consequences of the climate crisis, compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, have significantly driven up food prices, tipping millions of people into hunger, especially in developing countries.

A recent UN report paints a dire picture. It shows the number of people affected by hunger across the world has risen to as many as 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The world is moving in the wrong direction on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets to end hunger, food insecurity, and all forms of malnutrition," warns the report, projecting that eight percent of the world's population will still be affected by hunger in 2030.

Long haunted by hunger in its history, China has this saying that food is the primary need of the people, who are the foundation of the country. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese government has always put food security as its top priority.

After decades of hard work, China's grain output reached a record of 682 million tonnes in 2021, the seventh consecutive year that the country's grain production exceeded 650 million tonnes, making it the world's largest grain producer and the third largest grain exporter.

Currently, the country is able to produce 95 percent of its domestic grain consumption. It's even more remarkable that China managed to produce about one-fourth of the world's food and feed nearly one-fifth of the world's population with less than nine percent of the world's arable land.

Such achievements in themselves are China's contribution to world food security, not to mention the inspiration it provides to other developing countries in this process.

Lies and ill intentions

However, some media reports these days attribute China's self-sufficiency of food to grain hoarding and further accuse China of disrupting the global food market. These are nothing but lies made out of ill intentions.

China, as a matter of fact, has been doing its best to help build a world free of hunger, though it remains a developing country with its own food problems.

President Xi Jinping made food security one of the eight priority areas of cooperation in the Global Development Initiative, and in his recent speech at the high-level dialogue on global development, he further announced that China would allocate more resources for global development cooperation, work with all sides to deepen global cooperation on poverty reduction and eradication as well as to build capacity for food production and supply.

On the multilateral front, China has continuously deepened international cooperation on food supply.

It has supported the World Food Programme (WFP) in setting up a global humanitarian response depot and hub in China and established and sponsored the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund.

In cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the WFP, China has implemented more than 40 cooperation projects under the Fund.

China has established agricultural cooperation zones with other developing countries, carried out exchanges on agricultural know-how with more than 140 countries and regions, and promoted more than 1,000 agricultural technologies in developing countries, driving up the crop yield in the project areas from 30 percent to 60 percent on average and benefiting more than 1.5 million small-scale farmers.

Chinese hybrid rice has been planted in dozens of countries and regions in Asia, Africa and the Americas, with an annual planting area of eight million hectares and an average yield per hectare two tons higher than that of fine local varieties.

Since the beginning of this year, China has provided more than 15,000 tonnes of emergency humanitarian food aid to developing countries in need, which has been widely praised by the international community.

Eight-point initiative

At the recent G20 foreign ministers meeting, state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi proposed China's eight-point initiative on global food security, contributing China's wisdom to solving the problem.

- China's initiative includes supporting the central role of the United Nations in coordination;

- not imposing export restriction on humanitarian food purchases by the WFP;

- facilitating the entry of Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian agricultural products and inputs into the international market;

- releasing the export potential by major food-producing and net-exporting countries, reducing trade and technical barriers, and curbing the use of food as energy resources to ease the food supply tension in the market;

- emergency measures taken by countries for food trade should be short-term, transparent, targeted and appropriate, and conform to the WTO rules;

- supporting the consultative group on International Agricultural Research and the cooperation on agricultural science and technology innovation among countries, and reduce restrictions on high-tech exchange;

- reducing food loss and waste; and helping developing countries enhance their capacity for food production, storage and loss reduction in terms of capital, technology, market and others.

Together, we can make a difference.

The graver the challenges are, the more countries need to put aside their differences and work side by side. In a bid to achieve the SDGs, countries must work with one mind and support each other. Furthermore, there is no time to waste and it is important to increase investment and take swift action now.

China sincerely hopes that Russia and Ukraine will agree on a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities as soon as possible and restore peace through dialogue and consultation.

It is also hoped that developed countries will offer more support to developing countries. China stands ready to further strengthen cooperation with all parties and make unremitting efforts to make due contributions in safeguarding world food security.

Author bio

This piece was written by the Mission of People's Republic of China to the EU.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

Opinion

Is China a challenge to Nato? Beijing responds

The Chinese mission to the EU responds to last week's Madrid Nato summit, which stated China posed "systemic challenges" and warned against the "deepening strategic partnership between Russia and China".

Column

China's support for Russia challenges Europe's Peace Order

China's soft support to Russia is deeply troubling for Europe. Here is the EU's biggest trading partner signalling that it is on the side of Russia, its aggression, and its challenge to the post-war international order.

For China and EU, cooperation is our only right way forward

In a world of profound changes, we believe that healthy and stable China-EU relations, especially in the economic and trade realm, can help counter the uncertainty on the global economic stage, and are conducive to global development and prosperity.

Opinion

The UN's Uyghur report must push EU into China sanctions

The UN report's findings should be met by the EU with a more principled and human rights-centred approach to China — urging the UN Office on Genocide Prevention to conduct an assessment of atrocities.

EU, wake up! Don't leave West Balkans to Russia or China

Russia's attack on Ukraine and European values must remind us how important the enlargement process is, if properly conducted, as a motor for democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law and prosperity, write six S&D MEPs.

Dialogue and action – Nordic cooperation and view on COP26

Nordic countries launched several initiatives at the COP26 climate conference which will have a real impact on the ground. Nordic and UK pension funds are to invest billions in clean energy and climate initiatives. Greenland has joined the Paris Agreement.

Latest News

  1. Hungary blames conspiracy for EU corruption rating
  2. Democracy — is it in crisis or renaissance?
  3. EU lobby register still riddled with errors
  4. Polish backpedal on windfarms put EU funds at risk
  5. More money, more problems in EU answer to US green subsidies
  6. Study: EU electricity transition sped into high gear in 2022
  7. Russia and China weaponised pandemic to sow distrust, MEPs hear
  8. Frontex to spend €100m on returning migrants this year

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  4. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  6. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us