New Report Highlights China’s ‘Food Security’ as a Critical Vulnerability

Rod Waddington via (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/) Flickr

CHINA THREAT – A report recently published by the Center for American Defense Studies (CADs) in Washington, DC, which I lead, has focused on China’s food production and ‘food security’ as a critical vulnerability for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime. The report, written by food security and Asia expert, Geoffrey Quartermaine Bastin, is subtitled: “Agriculture and Food Supply in China.”

It describes in detail how food security could be one of the most important factors driving Chinese policies, domestically and externally.

As Bastin notes:

China produces the largest single volume of food on Earth. However, Beijing’s aggressive drive for expansion overseas, its trade with neighboring countries, and activities within internal regions such as Xinjiang, is driven by concerns about a vulnerable food supply that are deeply ingrained in the history and political memory. 

“The people are the foundation of a country; food is the primary need of the people. As food decides national prosperity and the people’s wellbeing, food security is a major prerequisite for national security.”

China’s food security issue is therefore a paramount concern to the CCP and its ambition to become the global superpower by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 2049.

Despite its immense size and growing economic and military clout, China is surprisingly vulnerable in many ways that Western defense experts often ignore, and domestic food supply and agriculture to sustain its massive population is one of the most serious.

According to the CADS report:

China is not self-sufficient in food. It produces only about 60% of its total food requirement. The 2018 Food Sustainability Index (FSI) was prepared by the Italian NGO Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation ranked China 23rd out of 67 countries in overall food sustainability. However, China was close to the bottom of the index at 57th for agricultural sustainability (i.e., domestic supply), shockingly just above Sudan (58th).

In the report’s conclusion, I note that:

Given China’s dependency on food imports to make up for its deficits, this is an area to which pressure can be applied. At its simplest, China could be embargoed with competitor countries restricting food exports. 

And I add that: “China may be vulnerable in its overall trade routes, although once again, direct action would reflect a serious escalation of the current low-level ‘Gray Zone Conflict’ between the US and China.”

Finally, and most dangerously, I also noted that:

The most damaging option, which would only be considered in the context of a full-scale kinetic conflict, would be to disrupt the main irrigation systems between the Yellow and the Yangtze rivers. A concentrated conventional attack on the Three Gorges Dam, for example, would bring the Chinese regime to its knees.

However, I add that this type of attack “would also make the Allied bombing of the Möhne, Edersee, and Sorpe dams in the Ruhr Valley during the Second World War pale by comparison.” It would obviously be far up on the escalation ladder, but the CCP must be aware that, nevertheless, it is an option.

Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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pete
pete
2 months ago

And an attack on Hover Dam and other important USA dams and bridges and highways and water supply as well as a cyber attack on energy sources would be devastating to the USA. That is why Trump’s policy of using agricultural to deal with China was so successful. Now look who has control of our farm industry.

Lil
Lil
2 months ago
Reply to  pete

Don’t forget our power grid

Bama Bill
Bama Bill
2 months ago
Reply to  pete

Biden is doing worse than that! Banning “Fracking” is way more serious than you realize? It is the reason we have an abundant supply of natural gas. Which only produces 71% of the U.S. electricity! Obama regime banned coal and nuclear. Yet in the “Fly Over” states I recently read coal still produces over 40% of their electricity. Nuclear still produces 20% of our electricity. So, that amounts to 91% of our electricity being “Banned”? We burn 380 Million barrels of gasoline a DAY! Now, replace the gasoline, and 91% of our electricity with what, “Biden”??? To me it just “Does NOT compute”?

Lil
Lil
2 months ago

I don’t think we’d ever do that, it would be inhumane to the people (the government and the wealthy — not so much)

Willie
Willie
1 month ago
Reply to  Lil

Your option would be what? Surrender? War is Hell, as they say. If the Chinese start a World War we need to do whatever it takes to win. The North won the Civil War by destroying the industry and food supplies of the South. The people had no jobs and no food. The Allies bombed civilian cities in Germany to break the will of the Germans to fight on. Yes, the people suffered, but if you want to win a war you must do what is necessary to win. And if you think that was “inhumane,” think of the consequences of Germany (Hitler) winning WW2. We’d all be in concentration camps. If we are attacked, we must fight back with all options for National survival. I still think my family and country are worth fighting for.

Craig Murphy
Craig Murphy
2 months ago

Many don’t realize that Wuhan Province was beset by three agricultural plagues this past summer. First, record flooding destroyed many crops. When the floods receded, plagues of locust came ( as they did in Africa this summer ) devastating remaining crops and then rats invaded eating what little remained, although rats on a stick, batwing soup and deep fried pangolin entrails were still plentiful fare.

As to the Three Gorges Dam, those self-same floods severely stressed its structure as it was built with second rate concrete. If it were to burst ( God forbid ) or be strategically removed ( see kinetic conflict a/k/a war ), the least of China’s worries would be loss of irrigation water. In bursting, it would release a torrent of water so great that in eight hours the entire Yangtse River Valley all the way to Shanghai would be wiped out killing as many as 100 million people and wiping out 1/3 of China’s industry.

This Sword of Damocles leaves China with an almost unalterable conundrum, slowly take it down and lose the irrigation or leave it in its perilous state. I hope Taiwan has that pair of scissors for the string that suspends the sword in the form of hypersonic missiles, just in case China thinks invasion of that independent island nation is a great idea.

Anti left
Anti left
2 months ago

This country has always been to civilized in war, other countries are ruthless when it comes to killing lions of people to get their way, the only time we have done anything remotely to what Russia and Germany not to mention the Arab empires was the atomic bombs used on Japan ut that paled in comparison to what others have committed in the name of their governments.

dernip
dernip
2 months ago

China will just put more people to slavery to tend their farms.

Bama Bill
Bama Bill
2 months ago
Reply to  dernip

They do that now, and still only grow 60% of their own food. Growing food requires “Tillable Acres”. I recently read that the “EPA E85 Regulaton” ran into the same problem. Now it has been figured out that we can “NEVER” switch to E85! As it would require more “Corn for Ethanol” that the U.S. could grow! Even if that was all we grew! Wonder how they will “SPIN” that? The “New Math”? Or admit they did no “Forecasting”, just ran with what they thought was a “Good Idea”?

Jawad
Jawad
2 months ago

I pray that God will find a way to liberate the decent Chinese people (and there are many; many are in fact Christians!) from the evil tyranny of Communist Party. Demented Joe in second childhood will not help, alas!

Robert6391
Robert6391
2 months ago
Reply to  Jawad

Jawad
Now no one stops anyone from believing in any religion in China, it is just that it is not allowed to be advertised or pushed on other persons, no matter what religion if you start pushing your religion you will end up in a reducation camp which allows no religion to be discussed between people there. Now in my opinion it is like Ben Franklin and many of the others who wrote the Constitution agreed on, “Religion belongs in the Temple and in the heart of the believer but never in the Government.” the main reason for the Freedom of Religion in the Bill of Rights, which says all religions are allowed to practice their religion in this USA, just some have taken it out of hand, pushing that this is a Christian Country, which it is not it may be a Country with majority of persons who are into reli8gion but that doec not make it a Christian county.

Bama Bill
Bama Bill
2 months ago

California has “VERY SERIOUS” problems that it continues to ignore. Like the Central Valley sinking (Subjecting) by up to an inch every 2 months. Also the aquifer is being drained at an unsustainable rate. Water table now down to at best 350 feet, and over 3,000 feet in places. Even if left “Fallow” for a thousand years, it wouldn’t recover. Bridges, dams, and canals cracking from the 10,000 earthquakes a year. The valley could become a large swamp if one large earthquake hits. I’d be growing food if I were younger, it should have a good future?

Robert6391
Robert6391
2 months ago

The fact few have ever been to China or studied China in depth shows the failure in this report. Chinese like many oriental People, can live on a small bowl of rice daily, and being rice is so easy to grow, and so abundant. Those of us who have visited China and my father lived in China for a time when we were fighting the Pacific part of WWII. Chinese people are stubborn and they will survive, unlike so many Americans who have no idea how to forage for food, and have to have a big meal.
All Trump did was hurt the small Mid west farmer, who had to end up selling to the big farmer who could afford the loss of sales to China, and China like most human beings when they find a new source of the things they want they seldom go back unless bribed to do so, with loss cutting sales.

CMWRF
CMWRF
2 months ago

As a farmer, it is extremely frustrating how little people know or care about food production. China has bought many large hog farms and vast prime farm acreage in the US, apart from energy acreage. When peoples bellies are full, they don’t care about the future food supply, and gripe about insignificant/made-up problems. The Bible warns of food shortages, and as a farmer, it is easily seen on just how this can occur when food is the most affordable, abundant, and safest in the entire history of mankind.. any rate, just like a game of chess, China has placed pieces in critical locations…when the time is right, they will move. Food control is one of those pieces…

Louise
Louise
2 months ago

China is buying many many farms across the world because they know their vulnerability. Farmers and the government should never ever sell to China!!!!

Grampa Mullan
Grampa Mullan
2 months ago

much of the food production of the world is now been created and reduced to only a few grain types.many created to deal with most of the threats to their growth. introduction of anything that they are not designed to handle would spread quickly to ruin a major source of food supply. even grains used to feed animals would collapse that market. diversity would be the answer to our food chain. many of these grains are now forced on farmers. trying to grow others result in court cases when they show that dna from their product shows up in a farmers field and they cant sell their product. Ithink the farmers should be able to file suit for crop contamination that comes from their product.the problem comes that laws are only protecting big corporations that get our politicians elected. this must change.chinas problem has shown us the danger of the small select source that farmers must grow.———-Grampa

Disgusted Elder
2 months ago

China has already launched its first attack with its “created virus”, and now has a much better idea about how to be more effective the next time on a worldwide basis. You can be sure that there will be a” next time” soon. They only want our land, not our people, leaving Neutron bombs that only kill life, but dont destroy property, and lets not forget EMP as the Chinese could then invade the U.S.A. with little to no active resistance. The Chinese can adapt to primitive living conditions far more easily than we pampered American people as we exist today! Our present “traitor government” is on board with China in this matter!


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