Agriculture

A farmer seeds rice with a seeding machine in a field in Wuyi, in Zhejiang province, China, on 12 April 2022. (AFP)

Does China have a food security problem?

After its major reforms in late 2013, China adopted a dual approach to safeguard its food security. But it has faced several challenges along the way. To cope with the situation, Beijing is diving deep into agricultural science and technology, exploring future foods, mining the potential of “blue territories” and getting local governments and citizens on board. But the proof of the pudding will very much be in tackling extreme weather and other external events.
This aerial photo taken on 8 May 2022 shows a farmer planting red pepper seeds with a machine at a field in Bozhou in China's eastern Anhui province. (AFP)

Agricultural technology companies: A new highlight of China's economic growth

Technology expert Yin Ruizhi notes that one sector in which technology is lacking is traditional agriculture. Due to the scattered nature of the sector, it is difficult to implement technological solutions to production and sales. However, tech company Pinduoduo holds the power to integrate the market and reach buyers and sellers across the country.
A farmer walks next to a harvester operating at a wheat field in Wei county of Handan, Hebei province, China, 11 June 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Chinese farmers struggling with excessive anti-epidemic measures

With China seeing virus outbreaks in various areas, local governments have been ramping up anti-epidemic measures. The farming sector has been hit hard, especially considering the spring planting season that needs all hands on deck. But despite recent notices from the authorities calling for smooth movement of agricultural supplies and labour, the implementation on the ground may not be easy.
Pedestrians pass a Chinese flag in Beijing, China, on 3 March 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Stability and growth: Two Sessions' government work report spells out what China wants

China’s Two Sessions annual meetings commenced this week amid the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang outlined the key theme of “stability first” for China's economic growth and geopolitical outlook. Despite some calls for an armed reunification with Taiwan, Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan says that nothing can distract China from its priority for stability, as it progresses towards building a modern China by 2035 amid challenges in its internal and external affairs.
People walk along at financial district of Lujiazui in Shanghai, China, 15 October 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

How China's 'poor' ultra-rich can truly become world-class entrepreneurs

Deng Qingbo finds that those who have “grown rich first” during China’s initial period of reform and opening up, and who have grown rich a second time by consolidating their holdings, now find themselves locked in an endless pursuit of wealth with no clear direction to better themselves. He thinks it is high time that they “grow wealthy for the third time” in the spiritual sense, and give back to society by developing a truly influential and well-respected corporate culture. It works out well that this would be in line with China’s “common prosperity” goals.
This aerial picture taken on 16 October 2021 shows trucks loaded with coal waiting near Gants Mod port at the Chinese border with Gashuun Sukhait, in Umnugovi province, in Mongolia. (Uugansukh Byamba/AFP)

Between a rock and a hard place: Mongolia’s ambivalent relations with China

Sandwiched between Russia to the north and China to the south, landlocked Mongolia has always had tough choices to make in its foreign policy strategies. Towards China, which it used to be a part of and continues to share kinship ties with the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia, it harbours historical suspicion. But with China being its top export destination and key investment partner, the head may rule the heart.
Jack Ma, founder of China's Alibaba Group, speaks in front of a picture of SoftBank's human-like robot named 'pepper' during a news conference in Chiba, Japan, 18 June 2015. (Yuya Shino/Reuters)

Jack Ma an agriculture tsar?

Alibaba founder Jack Ma seems set to add “agricultural tycoon” to his list of titles, going by his latest moves to break into the agriculture industry. And he is not the only tech giant in town attempting to use big data and technology to increase agricultural yields. For China, this is a good move that would add to its food security, a priority laid out in its 14th Five-Year Plan. Zaobao’s China Desk looks at Chinese agriculture’s investment potential.
Mainland China has halted imports of sugar apples and wax apples from Taiwan due to checks that revealed pests on the fruits. (CNS)

Beijing bans Taiwan fruit imports: Impoverishing Taiwan to achieve reunification?

Following a block of pineapple imports from Taiwan in February, mainland China has followed up with a halt on sugar apples and wax apples. While the blocks were seemingly due to pests found on the fruits, could there be a political reason behind the moves? And could the moves help achieve China's aim?
A man checks his phone while walking in Lujiazui financial district during sunset in Pudong, Shanghai, China, 13 July 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Kai-Fu Lee: Five ways artificial intelligence will put China ahead

Dr Kai-Fu Lee recently spoke at a summit reviewing the development of artificial intelligence. He gave five predictions about the industrial changes that would be brought about by the combination of artificial intelligence and other new technologies. Lee feels these changes would allow China to lead the world in science and technology in the next 20 years or so. This is the edited version of his speech.