This paper seeks to analyze China’s historical relationship to famine to better understand contemporary Chinese policy on food security. The historical analysis focuses both at the political level and the level of the peasantry, with a particular focus on the Great Chinese Famine. This Chinese specific analysis in conjunction with an understanding of food security history helps to better understand two white papers on food security from the Chinese Government in 1996 and 2019. This paper finds these white papers to be response to deep rooted doubts in the ability for the Chinese Government to logistically support such a massive population. These doubts are informed partly because of the remembered suffering of the Great Famine. The white paper’s themselves respond to contemporary political issues and understand the future hardships agriculture will face. However, they lack a clearly defined plan in the event of a massive crop failure and what measures will be taken in such an event. Future research on China’s food security must be done in Mandarin, particularly if there are any plans in the concluded shortcoming.
Dr. Marc Simon
First Advisor Department
Prof. Walter Grunden
Second Advisor Department
Mascarin, Justin, "From Memory to Present to an Uncertain Future: An Analysis of History and Policy on Chinese Food Security" (2021). Honors Projects. 586.