The Red Hoarder; how China can use food as leverage against poor countries?

The Red Hoarder; how China can use food as leverage against poor countries?

By now it is obvious that the world is in the middle of a food crisis. Many countries are running out of food stocks while some have already exhausted theirs. Inflation is looming on many countries with countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Pakistan having inflation rates as high as 12-15%. And food prices in these countries have gone up by up to 30%. Egypt has food stocks to last only for the next six months, over 80% of wheat consumed by Egypt comes from Ukraine and Russia. The war in Ukraine is not coming to any conclusion anytime soon. Russia and Ukraine together exported 29% of the world’s wheat. But since the war began the world is concerned about a severe food crisis.

The North African country of Tunisia and Ethiopia are facing a similar situation, with almost no food stocks and food prices increased by 35% and 150% respectively. Nearly 50% of Tunisian wheat came from Ukraine. These countries rely on food loans from other countries. If the situation doesn’t improve, these countries could go into mass starvation as well as famine.

There is one country which has been consistently buying food reserves, China. China has been stockpiling food for many months now. The Red dragon is now in the position of using food as a negotiation tool against dealing with poor starving countries.

Russian Ukrainian war has been driving the food prices up consistently since February this year. The sanctions imposed on Russia have crippled the food exports of Russia hence driving the price even higher. Russia is also a huge exporter of fertilizer; hence global fertilizer supply chain has been under jeopardy. To make matters worse, India announced that they were putting a ban on wheat imports citing a food crisis in the country.

China has an active presence in African countries, now with them having food stockpiles, they are at an advantage of making demands in their favor. With China now in possession of large amounts of foods, they can easily swap the food for other resources or bend governments of poor countries in their favor. The government of such countries are at a high disadvantage, when there is no food available, people will start to protest as seen in Sri Lanka, when that happens the resulting chaos can overthrow the government, to avoid that from happening countries could be making undesired but necessary deals with China. China has been buying around 50% of the total wheat exports since many months, which has also resulted in food prices going up.

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