Food production will be ramped up over the coming decade, anticipates the annual Agricultural Outlook Report. Area planted to grain will be kept at 113 million ha, if tight new regulations indeed protect valuable farmland.
Rising sea levels, shrinking biodiversity and depleted fisheries are galvanising Beijing’s efforts to balance development and conservation. With this year’s COP15 in Kunming expected to map future global biodiversity governance, 2021 is an inflection point for joint action on biodiversity.
Geopolitical challenges to the traditionally export-oriented GBA region have shaken policymakers. They have responded by doubling down on support for scientific and industrial development. Political change now sets the stage for further economic integration.
Speaking on the global order at the Boao Forum in Hainan, Xi yet again championed multilateralism. Countering ‘decoupling’, cold war ideas and zero-sum games, he warned against a global order set by a narrow group of countries. Unilateralism and hegemony should be opposed; major powers should behave in keeping with their status.
As nations large and small veer between disaster and post-COVID-19 economic bounce-back, housing prices are rising in many developed countries. The trend is magnified in PRC markets, where real estate is an investment magnet for households, who deem it more bankable than securities. Central and local officials have tried to slow rising prices, rolling out measures to ease restrictions on financing and purchasing.
Alibaba was hit with a record C¥18.2 bn fine, after a four month investigation. The 13,000-word verdict clarifies the Anti-monopoly Law’s role in the internet economy, setting several precedents. But troubles are not over for Ant Group, Alibaba’s finance arm, separately rebuked for its inadequate restructuring efforts.
With ‘victory’ in mitigating poverty proclaimed, a five-year transition now begins. Leveraging the last remaining domestic frontier for rapid growth, Beijing is directing policy and resources at invigorating rural industry, culture, environment and governance. The rural-urban duality, decades old, must be phased out if rural revitalisation is to have a chance.
Fast-tracked in late 2020, a PRC carbon market is hastened by Beijing’s pledge to peak emissions before 2030 and reach neutrality by 2060, both deemed imperative to fulfill its Paris Agreement obligations. Trading is expected to start by end June. Trading and registration agencies are to start up in Shanghai and Hubei respectively; a voluntary CCER (Chinese Certified Emission Reduction) market is to be housed in Beijing.
Germplasm surveys were launched nationwide in March. Led by a group from MARA (Ministry of Ag and Rural Affairs), sectoral surveys for crops, livestock, poultry and aquatic resources will be run by China Academy of Ag Sciences, National Livestock Station, and MARA Fishery Bureau respectively.
The campaign to study Party history is in full swing. Ideology chief Wang Huning 王沪宁 chaired a mobilisation meeting on 15 March; several central agencies and provinces have followed suit. Qu Qingshan 曲青山 Central Party History and Documentation Research Institute outlined the curriculum’s content. An official website and WeChat account are just some of the propaganda outlets supporting Party members’ studies.
With geopolitical tensions mounting in recent years, diversifying ag imports has become a prime concern for Beijing. Established ag trading partners like Australia, Canada and the US have lost markets. What has it meant for consumers in the PRC?
China Policy probed factors shaping purchase of Australian products by China’s consumers, and the likely impact of changes in supply/availability. Relevant to producers, policymakers and other key stakeholders internationally, the findings are summarised here.
African swine fever (ASF) is still the major pig production risk. Forecast to return to pre-ASF levels by H2 2021 it now faces uncertainty, admits MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs). Six new outbreaks of ASF have occurred this year, reported above all in big pork producers Sichuan, Hubei and Yunnan. Details have yet to be revealed, but more cases are expected.