(Bloomberg) — Chinese President Xi Jinping reviewed efforts to boost domestic grain production in Sichuan province, as Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to destabilize global food security.
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Xi visited Meishan city, in the country’s southwest, on Wednesday to learn about local efforts to build higher-standard farms, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Video footage from state broadcaster China Central Television showed Xi examining paddy fields and rice.
China is one of the world’s biggest wheat importers, leaving it particularly exposed to the effects of President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a major shipper of grains such barley, corn and wheat. That’s prompted the Asian nation’s state stockpiling company to buy newly harvested wheat for national reserves at record prices this month.
Talks between Russia and Turkey in Ankara to unblock shipments of Ukrainian grain that have contributed to global food-supply fears showed no signs of progress on a deal this week. Kyiv, which wasn’t invited to the talks, is skeptical of the Kremlin’s intentions and is seeking strong security guarantees that would allow it to export the key commodity.
Xi also inspected local Covid measures Wednesday, as he continues to pursue a strict zero-tolerance approach to the virus. While omicron outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing are now under control, new flare ups have emerged in the border areas of Inner Mongolia and Dandong, a city on the North Korean frontier.
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