Hunger War: China’s Food Security Amidst Ukraine-Russian Crisis

By – Narender Kumar

Food security is an essential part of domestic stability and development for a country. China, since the great famine of 1960 has been regulating various agricultural laws and food production regulations in order to be self-sufficient in providing basic food necessities to its people. However, geographical, socio-economic, and technological challenges force a country to export a huge amount of agro-products from various countries for their domestic food needs. Ukraine and Russia in particular have been a wheat basket for China in recent years. China depends heavily on wheat, sunflower oils, fertilizers, maize, barley, and other food products from Ukraine and Russia for their domestic consumption and food production.

The recent invasion of Russia in Ukraine has destabilized the agricultural production in these countries – affecting many exporting countries in their domestic food security. China is one of such countries that have been affected immensely due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and various international sanctions on Russia by Western countries and the European Union. Though China had worked intensively and aggressively for food security self-sufficiency in the recent years. However, firstly it has struggled with the quality of its food products – causing various food-borne diseases and distrust by the Chinese people of domestic food products. Secondly, the marks of globalization have been imprinted on the dietary culture of China in seeking foreign food products and adapting continental diets – thus raising the demand for international food products. The paper attempts to explain the various food regulations and policies post the great famine in China since 1960 in establishing the self-sufficiency model for food security. Failing to achieve its goals, China continues to remain an export-driven country for its domestic food needs. Since external dependency could be subjected to various challenges, China faces one of such challenges at the dawn of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in the domestic food security crisis.

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