Zhang Hongzhou

Zhang Hongzhou

Research Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University

Zhang Hongzhou is a research fellow with the China Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.  He received his PhD in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. His main research interests include regional and global resource conflicts and governance, game theory, discourse analysis, and emerging technologies. He is the author of Securing the ‘Rice Bowl’: China and Global Food Security (2018) and co-editor of China and Transboundary Water Politics in Asia (2017) and China’s Global Quest for Resources: Energy, Food and Water (2016).

This aerial photo taken on 1 November 2021 shows volunteers helping farmers harvest rice in Huzhuang, Jiangsu province, China. (AFP)

China’s embrace of GM crops will have global implications

Despite China’s efforts to make genetically modified organisms (GMO) technology a key plank of China’s food security, China has yet to meaningfully translate its research efforts into successful commercialisation, say academics Shaleen Khanal and Zhang Hongzhou. If China manages to overcome the various obstacles to commercialising GM crops, the global landscape of GMO governance, production and exports will be greatly changed.
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.