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Who Will Feed 1.3 Billion Hungry Chinese (1)?

28 december 2008

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You know Chinese account for 20 percent of the global population. Would you like to poise for a moment and picture the huge difference to the world between two scenarios: in one Chinese are well fed and able to feed other nations; in another Chinese are in starvation and need the world to feed them?

Fortunately by now we are in the first scenario, but the situation could reverse in a very short space of time if the Chinese authority adopts a proposal made by a private but high profile economic research centre.

The centre is headed by an old man surnamed Mao who is said to be a professor and has a long track record of sharing his dreadful wisdom with the rest of Chinese. A few days ago Professor Mao held a news conference in Beijing and announced a new research finding by the centre: there is no direct link between the size of cultivated land area China has and the amount of the crop output China can yield each year. Based on this consumption, he challenged the wisdom of China's policy that prohibits 120 million hectares of highly productive cropland to be used for urban development.

"There are enough food produced by other countries and available for purchase at international market," exclaimed Professor Mao, earnestly, which makes his news conference a bit like sales promotion for the largest wheat export country in the world, namely the United States. (The biggest wheat export nations:

But is our world really such a wonderful place where there is abundant food for everyone to share all season round? If so, why Haitian mothers would make mud pies to feed their families? Maybe it's because they are too poor, and according to the Law of the Jungle commonly held in the West and religiously followed by Professor Mao, they are the losers in social selection, and losers ought not to expect too much from life.

But how about those affluent nations with plenty of hard currency to spend? Will they also be affected by global food crisis? And after all, does the world still have a chance to experience global food shortage from time to time? The following passages, from a news report titled Biggest Grain Exporters Halt Foreign Sales (by Javier Blas in London, Isabel Gorst in Moscow and Lindsay Whipp in Tokyo) published on Financial Time in April 15, 2008 (, may provide some hints to the question:

The global food crisis intensified on Tuesday as Kazakhstan, one of the world's biggest wheat exporters, halted foreign sales and rice prices shot to a record high after Indonesia stopped its farmers from selling the grain abroad.


In another sign of turmoil, a big food company in Japan, Nihon Shokuhin Kako, said high corn prices had forced it to buy cheaper genetically modified corn for the first time, breaking a social, though not legal, taboo and signalling that opposition to GM foods could weaken in the face of record food prices.

一日本大型食品公司日前宣布,由于不堪负担进口高粮价,它将不得不购买便宜的转基因粮食。这一变化是前所未有的, 虽未突破日本的法律底线,但确实踩了公众的心理红线。日本社会对转基因食品一向非常抵触,但形势比人强,看来日本向转基因食品市场开放的日子也不远了。

Now here is another question: is it possible that food security researcher, Professor Mao, is totally ignorant of the facts? If this is the case, he must have faked his professional qualifications. But if this is not the case, then why he deliberately misled his fellow countrymen, as he frequently did in the past, in such an idiotic way? Many Chinese believe he has no choice, because his research centre is funded by Ford Foundation, thus there is a direct link between the level of his income and the amount of the fund that Ford Foundation is willing to transfer into his bank account.

Ford Foundation of the United States is well known for its special links to CIA, in fact, many in America and abroad view it as a public face of the secret agency.

The following are excerpts with Chinese translation from articles that explore the special relationships between the two:

The Ford Foundation and the CIA:
A documented case of philanthropic collaboration with the Secret Police

The CIA uses philanthropic foundations as the most effective conduit to channel large sums of money to Agency projects without alerting the recipients to their source.


Good taste, American style:
Ford Foundation, a philanthropic facade for the CIA

The largest philanthropic organization in the world was in fact providing a respectful facade for CIA financial and contact operations. This role was even more possible by the fact that the same persons designed and directed both organizations.


Below are some typical responses from online Chinese viewers to Professor Mao's findings:

oldfrend (

It's almost like to say, hi, you don't need to build your own military equipments; when war comes, you can always buy them from other countries.


基石 (

All over the world, millions people have starved to death. Yet under such circumstances, Mao XX would call for easing restriction that prohibits new urban development on existing agricultural land. I just wonder if this guy is too naive or too creepy.


vkuj (

He said there is no direct link between agricultural land and food, I would like to ask him if he dares to confirm there is no link between the total size of the agricultural land and the total amount of the food produced? How come someone would be so vicious that he would want to trap his own countrymen into starvation?


经济裁判 (

The total size of China's agricultural land area ranks the forth biggest one after the United State, Russian and Indian while we have the largest population in the world. When the per capita stock of agricultural land is concerned, it is less than 0.1 hectare, barely half of the world average, 5.5 percent of that in Canada and 5 percent of what it is in India, among 190 countries in the world, China ranks 126th.

We've already have 664 counties with per capita agricultural area below the critical point of 0.8 according to the standard set up by the UN, and the size of cultivated land in China has reduced to only 120 million hectare in total.


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Prev: Chinese Democracy and the West
Next: Who Will Feed 1.3 Billion Chinese (2)?


A Chinese Soup Kitchen
Run by a Humble yet Genuine Charity Group

A view of the free gruel kitchen in Wenzhou

Wenzhou (温州) in China's coastal province Zhejiang is known to be a heaven to small and media businesses. But even in this one of the most affluent cities in China, still not everyone is well fed, hence a group of retired men and women put their savings together to provide a blow of warm gruel to less fortunate. This free gruel kitchen has been running on daily basis and for years.

A retired lady serves gruel to poor travelers and labourers who cannot afford a paid meal

Being charitable is a long tradition in Chinese culture. For thousands of years, it became common occurrence when well-to-do families built schools, bridges and roads for their fellow villagers and townsmen.

Enjoy a bowl of warm gruel and feel the warmth of true compassion that is without selfish agenda

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