The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing from 16 – 22 October. This once-in-five-years meeting is a key event on the Chinese political calendar. On 16 October, General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a work report to the congress. Agriculture and food security featured prominently in the report and throughout the event.
In his work report, Xi reiterated China’s commitment to food security by “holding Chinese people‘s rice bowls in our own hands”. He also stressed that China is determined to become an “agricultural power” (nongye qiangguo 农业强国). Strengthening China’s food security by ensuring that the total cropland area does not fall below the redline of 120 million ha and that grain production remains above the annual production goal of 650 million tons were also highlighted in Xi’s report.
The report also stated that agricultural modernization and rural revitalization should be continued to lead China into the next phase of the development, consolidating the achievements of poverty alleviation. Agriculture and rural areas should be given priority on the development agenda, as per the report, while an all-round rural development approach should be pursued by establishing rural industries, promoting rural construction, expanding social services, and building beautiful villages. With “common prosperity”  cemented as top priority on the economic agenda, the leadership hopes to further narrow the urban-rural divide and speed up development of rural areas. The work report also stressed the need to maintain harmony and a balanced relationship between nature and humanity to ensure sustainable development.
The report highlights the centrality of the agricultural and food sector as Beijing strengthens its focus on stability and security in the face of growing uncertainties and an increasingly volatile world. More detailed agricultural policies are expected to be released in the coming months, further reinforcing the foundations of food security on all fronts. Read more about the implications of “common prosperity” in our terminology series “Making sense of …”.
- China Daily (22 Oct 2022). Agricultural focus urged to fuel next growth stages. Available at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202210/22/WS63533332a310fd2b29e7de51.html, last accessed on 2022/10/22.
- Communist Party of China (21 Oct 2022). 坚持农业农村优先发展. Available at http://cpc.people.com.cn/20th/n1/2022/1021/c448334-32548757.html, last accessed on 2022/10/22.
- CGTN (21 Oct 2022). 20th CPC National Congress: China pushing for all-round rural vitalization. Available at https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-10-21/VHJhbnNjcmlwdDY4OTA5/index.html, last accessed on 2022/10/22.