Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui on the Launching Ceremony of the Book Titled China's Agriculture and Political Economy

Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui on the Launching Ceremony of the Book Titled China's Agriculture and Political Economy

August 23th, 2017

Mr. Rahul Sarin,

Mr. George Chiu,

Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon! Namaste! Welcome to the Chinese Embassy. It is my great pleasure to hold a book launch ceremony for Mr. Sarin who is the author of China's Agriculture and Political Economy.

The 9th BRICS Summit will be held in Xiamen early next month. As all the BRICS countries are emerging powers as well as agricultural countries, development and poverty reduction including agriculture have always been a focus of BRICS cooperation.

As an old Chinese saying goes, 'people are fundamental for states, so as food for people.' Agriculture is the basis of human survival and the origin of civilization and progress. According to the concept of modern economics, agriculture is defined as the primary industry. The book of China's Agriculture and Political Economy introduces the history of agricultural development and its related policy evolvement since the founding of the People's Republic of China, with an analysis of challenges to the development of agriculture at a time when China's economy has entered into the new normal. Notwithstanding that the author has his own interpretation to China's history and politics, this book serves as a window to learn China from an agricultural perspective. I would like to congratulate Mr. Sarin on publishing of this book and thank him for his contribution to enhancing our mutual understanding.

As mentioned in the book, "with only 7% of the world's arable land, China feeds almost 20% of the world's population." This is the key to understanding China's agriculture. Since the reform and opening up, the Chinese government has always made development of agriculture, benefit of rural areas and prosperity of farmers a top priority for the country. The annual first document of the central government has been focused on "three agricultural issues" which includes agriculture, rural development and farmers for over a decade. In 2006, China abolished the agricultural tax throughout the country, which China had been collected for two thousand years. We promote agriculture by applying scientific and technological innovation. Mr. Yuan Longping's hybrid rice technology has set a world record with a yield of over 1000 kilograms per mu. Over the past 60 years, China's grain output has increased from 100 million tons to 610 million tons, and the per capita net income of farmers has increased from 44 yuan to more than 10,000 yuan.

India is also a big agricultural country with the largest amount of arable land in Asia as well as superior natural conditions. From the 1960s to 1980s, India carried out agricultural development strategy such as "green revolution", "white revolution" and "blue revolution", from which India accumulated lots of successful experience. India has fed 18% of the world's population with 12% of the world's arable land. Its agricultural output such as wheat, rice and milk is among the highest in the world. The achievements of India's agricultural development are benefiting not only India itself but also the rest of developing countries.

As the most populous and the largest developing countries, China and India are facing similar challenges and great potential for cooperation. It is in the interests of both sides to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in agriculture. In history, China's peach, plum and tea were introduced to India. In the 1970s, India's Murrah buffalo was brought into China, which made significant contribution to China's buffalo improvement. I hope that China's hybrid rice technology can be promoted in India, which will add luster to the agricultural cooperation between our two countries and benefit the two peoples. I also hope that Mr. Sarin and other Indian friends will continue to contribute to the agricultural cooperation between China and India.

The mutual trust builds on exchanges, and the exchanges are rooted in deep and all-round research in the field. Mr. Sarin has set a good example for us. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to express my respect and appreciation to Mr. Sarin. Thank you.

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