Xi Administration Will Collapse If Crops Decline 20%




Representative of National Resource Research Institute (NRRI)

Akio Shibata

Born in Tochigi prefecture in 1951. Upon graduating from the University of Tokyo’s school of agriculture, Shibata joined Marubeni Corporation. Shibata served as director of the Marubeni Research Institute, and has been in his current position since 2011. Shibata’s books include “Japan’s Agriculture Being Erased” (rough translation of the Japanese title).

If a horde of locusts strikes China, I believe that prices of grains such as wheat will skyrocket, and a global food crisis will occur.

When biofuels made from corn became popular in 2008, the price of corn approximately doubled. Food became overly expensive to purchase, especially in third-world countries, and about 800 million people suffered from hunger. I still remember like it was yesterday, how riots broke out in many countries because of the food shortage.


China Will Buy Up Into Food Crisis

Let me explain in detail why the food crisis will originate in China and expand.

The grains designated by the Chinese government for stable supply are rice, wheat, corn, soybeans and potatoes. They have established a self-supplying system and produced about 660 million tons last year alone. In addition, the grain inventory carried by the government is approximately 200 million tons.

If locusts damage 20% of China’s grain production, China’s production volume will decline by 130 million tons. Then, the Chinese government will pick into its inventory and strive for a stable supply.

At the same time, China’s government will try to buy grain from all over the world to replenish their lost inventory.

This especially applies to soybeans. The production volume of soybeans is around 16 million tons, against the domestic demand of 100 million tons. Most of the demand is supplied by imports; supply shortages can easily occur.

The total amount of grains traded isn’t that large, however, and the price will skyrocket due to China buying up all the grains. As a result, prices of cattle and pigs that feed on corn may increase as well.


Xi Administration Will Collapse From Locusts

Unfortunately, food prices in China have already been rising since last year. Many pigs have been slaughtered due to the spread of an infectious disease called African swine fever, and the disease is still spreading today. The price of pork, a national food of China, has almost doubled.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index (CPI) for January of this year has risen to 5.4% due to the coronavirus problem.

A price increase may fuel public dissatisfaction, so the Chinese government’s absolute policy is to keep the price increase rate at around 3%. But it is already beyond that line.

Furthermore, the Chinese government is facing three agricultural issues (low agricultural productivity, rural exhaustion and farmers’ low income) that have been worsening. We can expect farmers’ dissatisfaction to erupt, along with greater social unrest.

If grain production declines by 20% from locust damage, the overthrow of the Xi Jinping administration is probable.


Even Mao Zedong Didn’t Stand a Chance Against Famine?

Mr. Xi is currently concentrating his powers by creating a lifelong tenure system as the “core” of his party. Although he is trying to overpower Mao Zedong, there is growing dissatisfaction within the party.

If you look back and read past writings, Mao Zedong implemented the Great Leap Forward, such as of steel production in rural areas, and set a nationwide goal of surpassing England. There was a drought the following year, in which nearly 36 million people starved to death. However, Mao Zedong redirected his responsibility and launched a large-scale political battle, known as the Cultural Revolution.

China’s goal for this year is to double its per capita GDP from 2010. A 20-year growth rate of 6.5% is needed to accomplish that, but this is impossible.

Mr. Xi has lost his political power by being punished through a horde of locusts. Not only will he remain inferior to Mao Zedong, Mr. Xi’s authority could diminish and the regime itself could be shaken.

Xi Administration Will Collapse If Crops Decline 20%
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