China’s Xi Jinping problem
By Tom Mitchell in Singapore, Sun Yu in Beijing and Eleanor Olcott in Hong Kong
OCTOBER 12 2022
A relentless centralisation of power allows the Chinese leader to take decisive action. But it makes it harder to reverse his mistakes
Fish ponds have been abandoned, fields growing bamboo and flowers have been torn up. Instead, Xi Jinping wants China’s farmers to grow rice and wheat.
In the run-up to next week’s Chinese Communist party congress at which Xi, 69, is expected to be appointed for a third term as leader, farmers across China have been contending with unwelcome ultimatums from local authorities.
In accordance with Xi’s determination to enhance China’s food security in the face of what he sees as a hostile west led by the US, they have been told to divert resources from profitable agribusinesses to basic staples.