The Chinese Communist Party advocates frugality within their system.
On September 2, thepaper.cn published an article named PRC Ministry of Water Resources Tackles Food Wastage: Providing Half Portion Dishes, Small Size Buns. It says the Ministry of Water Resources has launched a series of actions to guide its employees to stop food wastage when eating in the cafeteria, in accordance with the “clean plates” campaign. The purpose of it, according to the article, is “to establish an economical government agency”.
Their methods include:
- Estimate the number of people who come to dine in the cafeteria and adjust the amount of grocery purchases accordingly, to reduce waste in storage. Increase the utilization of raw materials, say, do not peel the eggplants or cucumbers. Serve small portions to reduce leftovers, say, make buns 25g instead of 70g.
- Download “Smart Logistics” official app account. Learn important government instructions. Display signs of “clean plates, starting from me, take what I need, and eliminate waste”.
- Supervise staff using both the surveillance cameras and a group of “volunteers” wearing a red armband.
The department says the outcome has been good with wastage reduced by 20% and food scraps, 10%.
What do we see here?
In Communist China, all government buildings are facilitated with a cafeteria which provides meals for next to nothing prices, as a welfare for the “civil servants”. It uses a good amount of the government budget, which is really taxpayers’ money. With this kind of policies originated from the socialism ideology, food waste, accompanied by corruption, is serious within the CCP system. According to CCP’s websites, government budget used on food and banquets reaches 43.8 billion USD every year.
Compared to that, the Chinese annual GDP per person is only $700, which means the “old hundred names”, the majority of the Chinese people, are still struggling with feeding themselves, not to mention that prices have surged in recent years due to CCP’s Monetary policies and inflation. For example, pork as the main source of protein has seen a 70% rise in price in the past 3 months.
Now thepaper.cn report says the CCP is promoting frugality within their system, it raises the public concerns about food shortages and crisis in China. So does the so-called “clean plates” campaign.
On August 11, 2020, a CCP mouthpiece, xinhuanet.com, published a news article on Xi Jinping’s important instructions for resolutely stopping food wastage, and forming habits of frugality, to create a sense of shame of waste and pride of frugality. One of the actions taken is called “clean plates”.
Since then, things started to seem different. Some restaurants would restrict the number of dishes customers ordered. CCTV, another CCP mouthpiece, publicly criticized social media mukbangs. Apps like TikTok would send pop-up ads. saying “no wastage, reasonable diet” when users searched relevant topics.
ABC News says, “CCP officials’ interpretation of Xi’s ‘clean plates’ campaign is excessive”. “Some experts say that China’s new efforts to save food may indicate a deeper level of food issue. Last year, China faced an unprecedented shortage of food supplies.” This has caused speculation about a food crisis.
So is food crisis going to happen in China?
Forbes said on July 28, 2020, that “Rising demand, floods, insect infestations, and rumors of spoiled inventories are all contributing to China’s developing food related woes”.
China has been hit by several major disasters this year. Since late May, serious floods of the Yangtze River swept vast areas in the central and eastern China, a major grain-producing area, and caused significant destruction of property and loss of life. In August, Typhoons battered Northeast China, another major grain-producing area for autumn harvest. In July, a locust plague entered Yunnan Province in Southwest China. In 2019, an African swine fever hit the meat industry which led to a dramatic rise in meat prices.
In 2019, the CCP’s xinhuanet.com said that “China has fed 20% of the world population with 10% of farm land and 6% of clean water resources”, and “every year sees a good harvest”. But according to Routers (2020/1/13), “China’s soybean imports in December surged 67% from a year earlier to a 19-month-high”. On a Chinese website, sohu.com, an article reported on August 18, 2020, that each year, at least 80% of soybeans and 15% of all food supplies were imported from other countries. In the future, there may be a shortage of about 130 million tons. Since the lockdown from the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, several countries have put restrictions on food exports. This only contributed to the negative outlook of food crisis that the CCP wouldn’t recognize.
There’s another worrying factor. For decades, the CCP has been stealing wealth from the Chinese people through its ridiculous real estate policies which led to a great loss of good farmland and agricultural labour, as well as serious environmental pollutions and unbalanced regional developments. These are all affecting the quantity and quality of food production in China, where many people still live in poverty. To the CCP, these people are just part of the denominator in their statistics, but never got a fair share of food.
Should food crisis happen right now, what would the CCP do?
Throughout the Chinese history, the CCP has directly or indirectly caused the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese people. According to some scholars, the total number of victims in the Great Chinese Famine (1959-1961) alone was 20-55 million. It was mainly caused by CCP’s policies of the Great Leap Forward (1958 to 1962) and people’s communes. Jasper Becker wrote in his book Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine (1996) a “most sickening form of desperation: cannibalism, the selling of human flesh on the market, the swapping of children so people could use them for food without committing the additional sin of eating their own”. Yet at the same time, Mao as the CCP’s leader had a special supply of food and monthly expenses of what would be $15 thousand today.
Decades passed and it never changed. The CCP keeps telling the Chinese people and the world that food production has increased and supply is adequate. Now it’s blaming people wasting food for food shortages and people should accept the “moderate rise” in prices, using its propaganda tactics and surveillance system. They never faced the real issues or took the Chinese people into consideration, just like they never kept their commitments to the world. As Mr. Kyle Bass has put it, the CCP is cancer of the world. As Mr. Hao Haidong of the “Whistleblower Movement” once said, “we need to kick the CCP out of humanity”.