2021 could be one of the deadliest years on record for China, due to the worst food shortage in the last 50 years. The alarm was sounded earlier this year when a secret memo was leaked from a party committee meeting.
A secret government document, dated March 28, leaked out of a party committee in Linxia Prefecture. An emergency meeting was called to make special arrangements because of food shortages.
“The State Party Committee, the government, counties and cities must do everything possible to transfer and store all kinds of food such as grain, beef, lamb, oil and salt through various channels,” the document said, according to a report from Radio Free Asia.
2020 has been an extremely difficult year for China. In January, China was hit with the coronavirus and the nation went into extreme lockdown. Nations around the world began to rethink their supply chain as the US cranked up a trade war with China and a mass exodus of businesses left China, leaving many factories empty and countless workers jobless.
These events alone would have been enough to crush any economy, but then tragedy struck in the form of mother nature. China has seen some of the worst plagues of diseases, earthquakes, storms, and even swarms of locusts destroy hundreds of millions of livestock and destroy millions of acres of farmland.
Now, the most populated nation on earth has to figure out how to feed 1.5 billion people.
The government launched a massive campaign this year urging the Chinese people to save food. Restaurants began punishing customers for wasting food. Primary school teachers incorporated special food saving techniques into their curriculum. Entertainment stars did music videos about saving food. The nation has clearly come together to prepare for next year, but will it be enough?
China has already reached out to India to purchase rice by the truck loads, but many experts are quietly predicting a catastrophe. A massive famine could be on the horizon for China in 2021.
The good news is that the price of food has not spiked up too much, though there are early signs of higher costs.
The National Bureau of Statistics of China reported that, on average, food prices have increased by 11.2% compared to 2019. The price level of vegetables increased by 6.4% in one month and eggs by 11.3%. Pork prices saw the most increase at 52.6% compared to last year, due to the massive number of pigs that were killed because of the Swine flu.
China isn’t making any public announcements about a coming food crisis, but outside observers are concerned.
During the days of Mao Zedong, there was massive mismanagement of resources and about 45 million people died of starvation in only a few years. Many underground house church leaders were directly impacted by it. The well known BTJ evangelist preacher Brother Yun for instance, also known as the Heavenly Man, lost his younger brother to starvation. Pastor Zhang Rongliang, whose life’s story can be found in the book, I STAND WITH CHRIST, shared about his mother preparing to die in her sleep because of the famine in China. Pastor Shen shared in his biography, KIDNAPPED BY A CULT, how people were starving so much that they would buy tree bark and pigeon poop to eat just to survive.
China’s famine is still a taboo topic and not many like to talk about it. It is a stain on the Communist Party and many fear that it could be repeated again as centralized control increases in China.
Back to Jerusalem began officially working in China in 1996 by launching humanitarian projects to help with the disaster brought on by government policies. Christians from around the world responded by providing aid to some of the poorest regions of China for more than 20 years. If a food crisis hits China in 2021, humanitarian projects might once again become a primary effort in China.