United States officials say China has been stockpiling grain recently, and urged the Chinese government to release some of its grain supply to countries around the world whose citizens are facing widespread food insecurity.
James O’Brien, head of the US State Department’s Office of Sanctions Coordination, publicly encouraged China to share its stockpile with the world this week.
“We would like to see it act like the great power that it is and provide more grain to the poor people around the world,” he said. “China has been a very active buyer of grain and it is stockpiling grain… at a time when hundreds of millions of people are entering the catastrophic phase of food insecurity.”
The United Nations has pushed for countries like China and Russia to help end the global food insecurity that has resulted from the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine that began in February and rages on. “A global food crisis, already impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, is being driven to famine levels worldwide by the war in Ukraine and the resulting lack of grain exports,” said a UN statement in May.
The United Nations brokered a deal between Russia and Ukraine to release the Ukrainian grain supply to the world market. United States Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, says she hopes the deal will be honored by Russia and that the agreement “will help mitigate the crisis Russia has caused,” adding that “we will be watching closely to ensure that Russia actually follows through.”
The report released by the United States this week showed China’s grain stockpile amounted to over half the global supply.
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